A meteor streaked across the sky above the Russian town of Yekaterinburg on Friday, creating a shockwave that blew out windows before slamming into the nearby Ural mountains.
It's not the first meteor to fly across our skies, and it certainly won't be the last. But what makes this one unusual is that its unexpected appearance was caught on numerous cameras attached to the dashboards of motorists' vehicles.
The fact that it was caught on camera is actually not that surprising. That's because dashboard cameras – dash cams – have become ubiquitous in Russia. They've even given rise to a whole new genre of clips on YouTube - the Russian dash cam video. Mostly filmed from cars travelling through congested cities or bleak, snowy highways, these generally a selection of show grizzly head-on collisions, breathtaking displays of bad driving, violent roadside confrontations, and deliberate accidents staged by gangsters looking for an easy insurance pay-out.
Why are there so many dash cams in Russia? Russia has one of the highest car-accident rates in the world. According to Interior Ministry figures there were 200,000 traffic accidents resulting in 28,000 deaths in Russia in 2011 – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev once blamed this on the “undisciplined, criminally careless behaviour of our drivers,” as well as “terrible” road conditions. The upshot of this is that motor insurance is expensive, and many policies don't cover damage to the driver's own vehicle. So a dash cam can provide valuable video evidence, and a driver with such evidence is far more likely to be believed by an insurance company or the courts than one who hasn't.
With many thousands of dash cams on the roads of Russia, it's therefore not surprising that from time to time they capture something truly remarkable. The low flying meteor over Yekaterinburg is the latest example, but here are some of the most extraordinary events captured on dash cams: [Caution: Some of these YouTube videos may contain coarse language in Russian or inappropriate comments. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.]
1) Lightning strike
The driver of this vehicle has a lucky escape as their car appears to take a direct hit from a lightning bolt.
2) Tanks crossing
In Russia you have to be ready for anything. In this clip a military tank burst on to a busy road at high speed and disappears off the other side.
3) Air crash
Extraordinary footage showing a jet aircraft crashing in to the side of a motorway.
4) Power plant explosion
This clip appears to show an explosion in an industrial complex, halting traffic and blacking out the lights in the area.
5) White van man
A man in shorts falls out of a van before nonchalantly waving at the dash cam and walking off.
6) High-speed collision
The driver of a truck lands on his feet after being thrown from the cab.
7) Low-flying plane
A low flying Russian military jets hurtles up a road, terrifyingly close to oncoming traffic.
8) Baby on the road
A dash cam captured the moment this baby toppled from its pushchair onto the road, un-noticed by its parent.
9) Lucky man at petrol station
A guy caught between two crashing vehicles has a very narrow escape.
10) Car flipped by tram wire
Driver is caught unaware at an intersection by a downed tram wire. Strangely, the music being played almost fits the action.
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