‘Meteor Disneyland’? Russian city looks to meteor site’s future

March 05, 2013 | 9:44 a.m.
In Russia, the mayor has his eye on tourism in the wake of the meteor strike, which left a large hole in an iced-over lake. (AFP/Getty Images)

In Russia, the mayor has his eye on tourism in the wake of the meteor strike, which left a large hole in an iced-over lake. (Chelyabinsk Region Police Department / AFP / Getty Images)

Meteor Disneyland.  That’s just one of the ideas for future incarnations of the spot in southern Russia where a 10,000-ton meteor left its mark on Feb. 15.

The meteor blast injured thousands of people, many from shattered glass, and damaged structures and created a big hole in an iced-over lake.

Andrei Orlov, mayor of impact site Chebarkul, reportedly wrote on his blog that he’d been told that his little town of 40,000 “really got lucky.”  Now, he’s been told, don’t mess it up. On Feb. 21, according to the Moscow Times, the mayor called for a citywide brainstorming session on the best way to get into travel and tour books and also profit from this natural disaster.

It’s not the first time since the disaster that locals’ thoughts have turned to rubles.

As the Los Angeles Times reported on Feb. 19, many residents scooped up parts of the meteorite scattered around the region to sell on the Web.

For sale: a piece of meteorite. Cures cancer, AIDS and prostate. Improves academic performance at school,” read one ad, which asked for $10,000 for a chunk of rock, size unspecified.

Orlov held his brainstorming session recently, according to Bloomberg, and ideas that were floated included “Meteor Disneyland,” as well as an annual cosmic music and fireworks festival and a pyramid, topped with a lighted beacon, that floats on Chebarkul Lake.

Meteor Disneyland is not so odd when you consider some of the other theme parks that can be found around the world.  Here are five interesting ones:

1.) Stalin’s World. The official name of the Lithuanian theme park is Grutas Park. It contains relics of the country’s communist past, and visitors traipse along 2 miles of wooden walkways resembling those in Siberian prison camps, according to the Associated Press.

2.) Harmonyland. Japan is the place to go for cute at its most adorable extreme.  One of the main attractions at the Kyushu theme park is Kitty Castle. “This is the lovely house in which Helly Kitty lives,” says the park’s website.  The Sanrio characters boat ride has so much pastel and so many pairs of big eyes, adult visitors’ teeth may hurt.

3.) Diggerland.  England has four parks built around the theme of construction equipment.

4.) Hacienda Napoles.  The exotic-animal park is dedicated to drug kingpin and folk hero Pablo Escobar. The park, in Puerto Triunfo, Colombia, has at its entry a “Cessna that carried Escobar’s first load of cocaine to the United States,” says NPR.

5.) Here at home, there’s the Holy Land Experience, for those looking for a different kind of theme-park experience in Orlando.  Says Frommer’s: “Instead of thrill rides, visitors get lessons about Noah’s Ark, the limestone caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, 1st-century Jerusalem, and Jesus’ tomb.”

— Amy Hubbard


5 Responses to ‘Meteor Disneyland’? Russian city looks to meteor site’s future

  1. @PurpleGob says:

    Even printing "cures cancer" as an example is horribly low.

  2. Dr E F H Chisnall says:

    In 1994 I led a party of tourists on a 'star-seeing' trip to the high calera of the volcano Teide in Tenerife. Approx. 11.30 pm as we looked towards the dirction of )rion risoing above the caldera wall, a meteor missed the bus and party, 23 people plus driver and guide (me). This object travelling from the far darkness of space, perhaps beyond the Sol system, passed so close to us that we felt the warms of it passing as the space rock? impacted with the obsidian lava fields. How many such 'almost strikes' such as this have there been? Not many. Perhaps we should look for investment to build a metor Disneyland in Tenerife. The locals have always called the high crater the OMNIPUERTO, that is UFO PORT. This was all witnessed by us all, our faces warmed by the fire of the object's entry into our atmosphere.

  3. Lorraine Haywood says:

    What goes around come(s) around 10X and more.

  4. thearchivest says:

    All this asteroid action recently! It reminds me of this novel I just read called THE MYOSHI EFFECT, about how people and the governments react when a giant asteroid heads toward earth. While it's a funny book, like Dr Strangelove or something by Douglas Adams, what it describes isn't that far-fetched considering all that has happened. Fact? Fiction? It's all the same sometimes!

  5. ASTEROIDS, COMETS, AND METEORS ORIGINATED FROM EARTH: In the Earth's past there were powerful volcanic explosions propelling millions of tons of earth soil and rock (now asteroids and meteors) containing organic molecules. Read my popular Internet article, ANY LIFE ON MARS CAME FROM EARTH. The article explains how millions of tons of Earth soil may exist on Mars, and how debris we call asteroids and meteors could have originated from Earth. According to a Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p. 12 that quotes a NASA scientist, SEVEN MILLION tons of Earth soil may exist on Mars! How could this be possible? Read and find out.

    Even if the right chemicals exist, life cannot arise by chance. The molecules that make-up life have to be in a sequence, just like the letters found in a sentence. Please read my popular Internet articles listed below:


    Check out my most recent Internet articles and sites: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION and WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS (2nd Edition)

    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    B.A. Bible/Biology

    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science

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