Over 4 thousand years ago, an enormous meteor landed on already inhabited Saaremaa, the largest island of Estonia. The explosion, which impact energy can be compared to Hiroshima atomic bomb blast, destroyed all vegetation within 6 km from the site. As the meteor broke into pieces in Earth’s atmosphere, it created nine hollows called Kaali craters, the largest of them being 110 metres in diameter and 6 metres deep.
The Kaali crater field fascinated humans – it remained a place of cult for many centuries (some of the ritual animal offerings were even dated to 1600s AD). During the Iron Age, the largest crater was encircled by a wall, which suggests this was a holy, protected lake. Numerous Finnish and Estonian folk tales are inspired by this place and suggest the origin of the craters.
Now, Kaali crater continues to intrigue tourists, who come to explore this ancient, well preserved field and learn its history in the crater museum.