Sikhote-Alin - Meteorite Site

If you are planning to spend time in Primorsky or Khabarovsk Krais, you simply have to go and see the Sikhote-Alin. This beautiful World Heritage Site range stretches from the peaks of Sikhote-Alin all the way to the Sea of Japan and it is easily accessed from Vladivostok. Its highest summit is Anik Mountain which peaks at 1 933 meters but it is not this mountain which has brought the range so much fame. Instead, it is the extraordinary temperate zones that exist here which have helped to create one of the most unusual and wealthiest temperate forests in the world. It is also the place where the Sikhote-Alin meteorite shower took place in 1947 which was witnessed by a number of people.

On 12 February 1947 at approximately 10:30 am, a bright ball of light pierced our Earth’s atmosphere with a deafening sound. As it traveled to the earth, it began to break apart. Its smoke train was 32 kilometers long and when it finally hit, the largest part of it shattered in the impact. The meteorite fragments fell in an elliptical area in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains and the largest crater was about 26 meters wide and six meters deep. Today you can still walk in these craters and see fragments of the meteorite and the shower that adds an interesting aspect to any trip to the Sikhote-Alin Mountains.

But the Sikhote-Alin Mountains have many more exciting treasures than the Skihote-Alin Meteorite. The mixed zone features both taiga and subtropical foliage and because of this unusual combination, creatures such as Amur tiger and the Himalayan bear cohabit with other species not normally found in the region such as brown bear and lynx. It is also seen as an important area for the survival of several endangered animal species. The continued survival of these species, which include the Chinese merganser, the Blakiston’s Fish Owl and the Amur tiger, is part of the reason for the sites inscription as a World Heritage Site. Currently the site is protected and maintained by the Sikhote-Alin wildlife refuge and the Lazo wildlife refuge which both work hard to protect the area’s unusual wildlife. If you are planning to visit Russia, make sure that you do your best to see as much of this strange natural phenomenon.

 



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