Space and Physics

What On Earth Are These Mysterious "Space Balls" That Keep Landing In A Village In Spain?


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockNov 13 2015, 18:04 UTC
3673 What On Earth Are These Mysterious "Space Balls" That Keep Landing In A Village In Spain?
Spanish Interior Ministry

Three mysterious objects, which have reportedly fallen from space, are freaking out villagers in southern Spain.


Residents from villages in Murcia have been perplexed by a series of objects landing in their fields. The first ball was found on Tuesday November 3 by two shepherds in Calasparra. A second object was found in earlier this week in Villavieja. And just a few days ago, yet another was found in Elda.

Local news site El Pais reported that the objects are around one meter (3.2 feet) in diameter and weigh about 20 kilograms (44 pounds). After the first object was discovered, the Civil Guard initiated a CBRN protocol (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear) to check it out wearing hazmat suits. On examination, the agents reported it was not an explosive device, nor was it dangerously radioactive. They then took the object away for further research. It appears that similar precautions were taken with the other two objects as well.

“I think it is a more serious issue than it seems. Citizens have real concerns about what is happening and deserve an explanation,” said Calasparra mayor, Jose Velez to the Olive Press.

“Where are these objects coming from? Why are they falling here precisely? Will more fall?


“And what would happen if any of these balls fall into a highly populated area?”

In the wake of the massive piece of space debris that hit the Indian Ocean on Friday 13th November, many are speculating these could be more chunks of space junk. Of course, there is always the possibility that this is just a hoax. 

A spokesman from the Alicante police said: “It looks like a piece from an aerospace vehicle, but not a commercial plane. It could be a piece of satellite or something similar,” according to The Express. Some have argued that the lack of a crater means they cannot be from space, but that's not necessarily the case. Space debris tends to fall to the ground at terminal velocity. For a sphere roughly one meter in diameter, IFLScience estimated that the teriminal veocity would be 9.4 meters per second, or 21 miles per hour. This would be enough to hurt a person, but not leave a crater. 




Space and Physics
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