Tunguska event in popular culture

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The Tunguska event was an explosion that occurred on 30 June 1908, in the Siberian region of Russia, possibly caused by a meteoroid air burst. The event has inspired much speculation and appears in various fictional works.


  • In Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (2015), after the Earth's moon explodes in the first pages of the novel, it is suggested that a small speeding blackhole, such as was hypothesized (and disproven) to have caused the Tunguska event, caused the moon's explosion.
  • Charles Stephenson’s 2013 novel The Face of OO culminates with the explosion over Siberia. In this story, a hijacked airship, which is carrying a ‘divine weapon’ mentioned in the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, explodes, causing the massive blast.[1]
  • Barry Klemm's 2010 novel The War of Immensities explores the possibility that the Tunguska event was a mini black hole impacting the earth. The lack of an exit event is explained by the singularity then being captured by Earth's gravity and orbiting the core beneath the surface. The ensuing damage caused is then used as the main context for the action in the novel.[2]
  • Thomas Pynchon's book Against the Day puts forth several possible explanations for the Tunguska event, which affects several of his main characters. Among these possibilities are a meteorite, alien visitation, temporal disturbance and a misdirected energy beam from Nikola Tesla. None of these are specifically indicated as the "correct" answer.
  • The humorous 1978 alternate history novel And Having Writ... by Donald R. Bensen features four space travelers whose ship crashes to Earth in 1908 after narrowly missing Tunguska, landing in the Pacific Ocean off San Francisco. The aliens then travel the planet analyzing world affairs and attempt to jump start World War I to improve the Earth's technology level.
  • Science fiction writer Stanisław Lem, in his first science fiction novel The Astronauts (1951) (film adaptation 1960 as First Spaceship on Venus), explains the Tunguska event as the crash of an interplanetary reconnaissance vessel from a Venusian civilization.
  • The Doctor Who novel Birthright involves the villain Jared Khan attempting to possess the TARDIS after its exterior has temporarily been split into two shells. The Doctor's companions, Ace and Bernice Summerfield, manage to drive Khan's mind out of the interior of the TARDIS and into the empty shell, which is then expelled from the Time Vortex and explodes in mid-air over Tunguska, opening a temporary dimensional rift. The explosion was also mentioned as a historical detail in another Doctor Who novel, The Wages of Sin.
  • The novel Blood Rites of The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher indicates that the incident was caused by Ebenezar 'Blackstaff' McCoy, the White Council's wetwork man.
  • The Tunguska event (and the Jackson–Ryan hypothesis that it was caused by a primordial black hole) forms part of the back story for the 1975 Larry Niven novelette The Borderland of Sol.
  • Soviet engineer and science fiction writer Alexander Kazantsev in his novel Burning Island mentions the event as the crash site of an alien spaceship, resulting in the discovery of radium-delta, the supposed fuel of the ship. His short story "A Visitor From Outer Space", written in 1946, describes the crash site and eyewitness accounts in detail. In this story a nuclear-powered Martian spaceship, seeking fresh water from Lake Baikal, blows up in mid-air.[citation needed] His story "The Explosion" includes the theory that the Tunguska event was the result of the activities of extraterrestrial beings, including an exploding alien spaceship or an alien weapon fired to "save the Earth from an imminent threat".[3] Many events in Kazantsev's tale, which was intended as pure fantasy, were subsequently confused[who?] with the actual occurrences at Tunguska.[4]
  • The book Callahan's Key by Spider Robinson posits a connection between Tesla (made immortal in this fiction) and the Tunguska event. In the book, Tesla constructed a so-called "death ray", and the result of the initial test firing was that "some trees decided to lay down for a while" in Siberia.[5]
  • Czech science-fiction author Ludvík Souček mentions the Tunguska event in his novel Cesta slepých ptáků (The Path of Blind Birds, Czech 1964) and asserts it was a result of a nuclear blast, which caused major damage to the taiga but created no crater,.
  • Chekhov's Journey by Ian Watson (1983), posits that the famous playwright Anton Chekhov knew of the 1908 Tunguska explosion back in 1890 which was caused by an out-of-control Soviet time-ship.
  • Alistair MacLean's novel Circus mentions the Tunguska event as the result of an impact by a particle of anti-matter weighing "one one-hundredth of a millionth" of a gram (this is approximately a factor of a hundred billion times less than the real energy of the explosion).
  • Matthew Reilly's short story "Complex 13" suggests that a Soviet base, the equivalent of Area 51, was constructed in Tunguska upon discovering that the Tunguska event was the site of a UFO crash-landing.
  • JD McDonnell's short story "Live For the Sun" mentions that the Tunguska event was the result of an ancient vampire experimenting with sunscreen. The experiment fails.
  • F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack novel Conspiracies included a mention of the Tunguska event as being related to an experiment that Nikola Tesla had been working on.
  • Cesar Sirvent's short comical sci-fi story "Deuterio" ("Deuterium"), in Spanish, explains the "deuterium comet hypothesis" and introduces the idea, after Edward Teller, of using a space station to launch blocks of ice from low orbit against Earth's surface to test for the cometary hypothesis. This proposal of experiment is modified, using deuterated (heavy) water.
  • The novel Earth by David Brin explores the Jackson-Ryan hypothesis — i.e., the possibility that the Tunguska event was caused by a submicroscopic black hole, since trapped beneath the Earth's surface.
  • Dan Abnett's novel Primeval: Extinction Event, set in the Primeval universe, claims the Tunguska event opened a gargantuan anomaly that periodically opens every few decades. The anomaly is linked to the late Cretaceous, just hours before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, forcing Cutter and his team to detonate an EMP to seal the anomaly before the backlash from the Chicxilub impact can pass through the anomaly and devastate the present-day Earth.
  • Fox Hunt, the first Lachlan Fox thriller from James Clancy Phelan, features the rare extraterrestrial element Theterium that was found at the Tunguska site.
  • The novel, Ghost Dancer by John Case explains the Tunguska event as the accidental result of an energy experiment by Nikola Tesla, the Serbian inventor. Tesla was apparently trying to demonstrate the potential of the Earth's energy being beamed without wires into the skies above an Arctic explorer.
  • In the novel Ice by Jacek Dukaj, following the Tunguska event, the Ice, a mysterious form of matter, has covered the whole Russia. The appearance of Ice results in extreme decrease of temperature, putting the whole continent under constant winter, and is accompanied by Lute, angels of Frost, a strange form of being which seems to be a native inhabitant of Ice. Under the influence of the Ice, iron turns into zimnazo (ice iron), a material with extraordinary physical properties, which results in the creation of a new branch of industry, zimnazo mining and processing, giving birth to large fortunes and an industrial empire. Moreover, the Ice freezes History and Philosophy, preserving the old political regime, affecting human psychology and changing the laws of logic from many-valued logic of "Summer" to two-valued logic of "Winter" with no intermediate steps between True and False.
  • The Tunguska event plays a central role in Ice Trilogy by Vladimir Sorokin.
  • The novel Intervention, by Julian May, depicts a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the impact, which was caused by the destruction of an out-of-control alien craft. Apparently, if the crew had not activated the self-destruct program, the ship would have crashed into Moscow.
  • Author Isaac Asimov had a character in his story "The Mad Scientist" attempt to explain the Tunguska event. The character told of the plight of a physicist who may have rediscovered the event's cause: production of energy via creation of a "particle-antiparticle pair, well separated, in a vacuum — without any energy input, of course, since in the forward motion they produce energy". The story also notes that although such a great number of trees were knocked down, there was no crater at the site. This story was published in Magic: The Final Fantasy Collection (HarperPrism, 1996).
  • The event is referenced in the debut novel by author Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. A group of "peculiars", humans with supernatural abilities, botch an attempt at immortality, which causes the explosion, and turns them into monsters that need to feed on peculiars to live.
  • A semi-serious version of the event is offered in Monday Begins on Saturday (1964) by the Strugatsky brothers. In it, the explosion is caused by a spaceship of aliens from a different universe who move backwards in time relative to us. Consequently, it is of no use to search for the remains of the spaceship now, after the event, because these remains have only existed at the site before 1908.
  • The Star Trek novel Prime Directive depicts the Tunguska incident as the result of benevolent Vulcan interference in human history, in which an anthropological survey ship deflected a meteor (that would otherwise have struck Western Europe and destroyed much of civilization) into a largely uninhabited part of the planet.
  • The book Operación Hagen (Spanish, not translated to English) by Felipe Botaya, claims the explosion was the result of the WWII Nazi nuclear weapons program (purportedly, the Nazis blasted Tunguska in a desperate attempt to stop the war by showing Soviets the power of their nuclear bombs. The explosion was covered up with a small meteorite impact that happened in 1908 in the same location).
  • "A Real Bang-Up Job", a tongue-in-cheek science fiction story by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre published in 2000, links the Tunguska event and the Roswell UFO incident: in a future where time travel becomes commonplace, time-tourists will journey afterwards to 1947 in order to witness the Roswell event for themselves. A time-traveling criminal wrecks the time machines of tourists who materialize in Roswell 1947, and diverts their bodies to space-time coordinates in midair directly above Tunguska in 1908. All the abducted time travelers materialize at the same physical point in space-time, creating the massive explosion of the Tunguska event. Wreckage from the various time machines, left behind in Roswell 1947, has been misinterpreted as UFO debris.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's introduction to his novel Rendezvous with Rama includes a very brief mention of the Tunguska event without explicitly naming it.[6] In the book, it is implied that a second Tunguska-like event convinced the peoples of Earth to mount a space defence program.
  • The novel Sandstorm, by James Rollins (2004), uses the circumstances of the Tunguska event — which he supposes was a meteor composed of anti-matter — as evidence to suggest the cause of the explosion in the book's opening pages, and the set-up for the cataclysmic events of the book's climax.
  • The novel Singularity by Bill DeSmedt also features the Jackson–Ryan hypothesis (Black Hole) as explanation for the lack of an impact crater. The story line is about a remnant of the KGB that plots to capture the black hole and then use it to change the path of 20th century Soviet history.
  • The Stargate SG-1 novel Roswell suggests that the Tunguska crash was caused by a crashing Goa'uld vessel that was impacted by the team's Puddle Jumper materializing too close to it during time-travel.
  • The story "Storming the Cosmos", by Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker (1985), depicts a Soviet reconnaissance mission to the site of the explosion, led by scientists responsible for rocket technology in 1959. They find a device which is referred to as the "rocket-drive". It is then used too hastily in late 1960 in a rocket prototype, leading to the Nedelin disaster. The hypothesis that a UFO crash-landed or deliberately buried vital gadgets for the human race to find is thus linked to the space race of the 1950s and 1960s.
  • The novel Timeline mentions the disaster as a possibility of "accidentally" sending someone to a time just before the event happens, in order to silence people that know of the research if they start to tell others about it.
  • In the Alfred Szklarski adventure book Tomek's Secret Expedition, the Tunguska event plays an important role. Main characters use the sudden earthquake and "sky set on fire" to defeat an overwhelming pack of bandits when traveling through the region near the site of the event. The author describes the event as the effect of a meteor impact.
  • In the book Pandora's Curse by Jack DuBrul, the Tunguska meteor is a highly radioactive object referred to as "Satan's fist" by a group sworn to encapsulate and destroy any piece on earth. A large fragment that veered off towards Greenland after the explosion is one of the last remaining pieces.
  • The novel Retromancer by Robert Rankin states that the Tunguska event was caused when time-travelling magician and immortal Hugo Rune and his acolyte Rizla 'divert' a bomb that was about to destroy New York City in 1945 to Tunguska, Rune reasoning that the bomb has been diverted from a populated area to an uninhabited location where it will cause virtually no damage.
  • The novel Goliath by Scott Westerfeld depicts the aftermath of the explosion. The crew of the airship Leviathan come across the blast zone of the event along with the remains of several war beasts. The crew then come across Nikola Tesla who had come to the site to research the blast and claims it was caused by a weapon created by him, the Goliath. Towards the end of the book it is revealed that the event was caused by a meteor after all, but Tesla was too unhinged to believe it.
  • The comic novel Hamish X and the Hollow Mountain by comedian Sean Cullen asserts that aliens, bent on attacking Earth arrived through the event, although it also claims that Portuguese scientists feel the event was caused by a duck with gastrointestinitis.
  • Jasper Fforde's novel The Woman Who Died a Lot explained the event as a "practice smite" undertaken by a deity who thought no one would be watching in an empty region of the planet.
  • The novel The 5th Amulet by S.J. Hailey: A mythical device that protects the earth from asteroids and other Earth bound objects. It is inspired by the Chinese Legend of the Ten Suns. The Tunguska event was caused by this device firing a directed energy weapon at the object.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes pastiche "The Adventure of the Russian Grave" by William Barton and Michael Capobianco, Professor Moriarty predicts the Tunguska event from astronomical observations and leaves clues designed to lure Holmes to the site at the time of the impact as a form of posthumous revenge.
  • Side B of the novelization for Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles featured the Tunguska event as being a fairly major element in the chapters depicting the climax of the game, as the Umbrella Russian plant was established largely because of the Tunguska event and the main antagonist, Sergei Vladimir's weaponry was derived from the same metal discovered in the event.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes pastiche novel Sherlock Holmes y las huellas del poeta by Spanish author Rodolfo Martínez, Sherlock Holmes deducts that the Tunguska event was caused by the spaceship carrying Kal-El from the planet Krypton.


  • DC Comics has several different mentions of and explanations for the Tunguska event:
    • In Justice League of America #199, the Lord of Time mentions the Tunguska event and notes that a little known similar event took place in the Grand Canyon.
    • In Wonder Woman #324, the Tunguska event gets explained as an extraterrestrial craft crash, with the survivors emerging as the "gremlins".
    • In Booster Gold #31, the time traveler protagonist of the series visits the place of the Tunguska event to be alone and clear his mind moments before the explosion.
  • In the Donald Duck comic "Gigant", the event is shown to have been caused by a mad scientist, whose experiment to create gold had gotten out of his control.
  • In PKNA #41, titled "Agdy Days", the event is shown to have created an "agdy", a metal with extraordinary properties.
  • Marvel Comics has provided several mutually exclusive explanations for the Tunguska event (although they involve at least three different continuities):
    • In Fantastic Four #13, Mister Fantastic reveals that the Soviet Union had been using a fuel for their rockets derived from a residue of the Tunguska meteor. He uses a similar residue from a meteor from Arizona to fuel his own rocket to the Moon. It is implied that Ivan Kragoff, The Red Ghost uses the Tunguska based fuel to fly to the Moon at the same time.
    • In a Doctor Druid 1995 mini-series, the event is related to a group of mystics (the "Dry Academy") and their plan to maintain a "world illusion". The Dry Academy is actually based in Tunguska.
    • In a Marvel Comics trilogy of publications entitled Ultimate Nightmare (2004–2005), Ultimate Secret (2005), and Ultimate Extinction (2005), the Ultimate universe characters confront the mystery of the event, linking it to an alien encounter with the Ultimate version of Galactus. The explosion was caused by the arrival of Vision who came to Earth planning to warn humanity of the arrival of Galactus. Ultimate Nightmare #1 has moved the year of the Event as 1904 (four years off), and depicting it as leaving a rather large impact crater (it left none). According to the book's author, Warren Ellis, "The Tunguska event was in 1908 - I moved it forward on Ultimate Earth -as was essentially depicted in Ultimate Nightmare; an explosion over the Tunguska river area in Siberia of nuclear proportions..."[citation needed]
    • In another Marvel Comics series, Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu (vol. 2), a MAX series, it was explained that Nikola Tesla was experimenting with ionizing the Earth's atmosphere and realized that his "scalar technology" could produce giant bolts of lightning around the globe. It was explained that Tesla was responsible for the Tunguska event in 1908, as a test run for his new weapon. Captain America: The Medusa Effect used a similar explanation.
    • Avengers West Coast #87 had fragments of the Tunguska event as the source of power for Russian character "Morningstar".
    • The Shadowline continuity explained the Event (in Critical Mass #2) as a result of the use of a vacuum effect from the weapon that a certain Knight of the Order of Saint George used against Doctor Zero.
    • Marvel Two-in-One #34 explained the Event as a nuclear explosion caused by a crash landing from aliens.
  • In the Image Comics series, The Manhattan Projects, the post-World War II Soviets of this alternate history timeline research and develop super science in Star City, science based on alien technology recovered from Tunguska.
  • In issue #8 (April 2012) of IDW Comics' Ghostbusters comic, a journal entry describing a meeting between John Horace Tobin—the author of Tobin's Spirit Guide—and Russian demonologist, Vladimir Belascu, mentions that the meeting coincided with "something terrible" (those words accompany an illustration of the Tunguska explosion), something which Tobin was reluctant to discuss.
    • In issue #2 (April 2011) of IDW's 12 issue Godzilla comic, Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, a stone fragment from the Tunguska blast site, on exhibit at the Vernadsky State Geological Museum in Moscow, is stolen by a student during an unexplained earthquake, shattering later to reveal an egg, from which a rapidly growing Rodan hatches.
  • In issues #7 and #8 (June and July 2015) of the ongoing Boom! Studios comic, Escape From New York (a continuation of the movie of the same name), Snake Plissken, once again a combatant in the U.S./Soviet war mentioned in the film, discovers a Siberian doomsday cult which worships the Tunguska meteorite in a subterranean temple under the original impact site. The comic mistakenly claims that the impact at Tunguska (misspelled "Tungaska" in issues #8 and #9) happened 70 years earlier, which is historically inconsistent with the 1997 setting of this fictional universe, and wrongly suggests that the impact site is in the vicinity of the Bering Strait.
  • In the 1981 Japanese anime series Honey Honey No Suteki Na Bouken, the series protagonist "Honey Honey" is helped by mysterious flying saucer, which helps her escape from Siberian castle where she was being kidnapped. The explosion in the series is caused by the saucer battling comically with another saucer, and the enemy saucer explodes by hitting in the ground.
  • Rick Veitch's Maximortal explains the Tunguska event as a side-effect of a Temporal paradox that is responsible for both the origin and death of the title character.
  • In the Predator comics, it is revealed that the Tunguska event was due to a Predator or Predator ship's self-destruct technology. It was either triggered by the Predators themselves, to conceal their sophisticated technology from humanity, or by either Russian or American officials to keep the technology from the others.
  • Prog 81 of 2000 AD had a Tharg's Future Shock short story where a ship went back in time to view the Tunguska event. When it arrived in 1908, the ship went out of control, entered the atmosphere and became the cause of the event.[7]
  • In the first twelve issues of the comic book series of The X-Files the story arc relates to the Tunguska incident with a survivor of the blast included in the chain of events detailed in the issues.
  • In the Atomic Robo storyline "Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time", it is suggested that the Tunguska event was the result of Nikola Tesla and several others repelling a Lovecraftian alien beast that existed outside of linear time.
  • In the Battle Angel Alita: Last Order manga by Yukito Kishiro, the Jupiter seed team features one member with various fighting forms, Warmen 609. His final form is named Tunguska and use a wormhole to unleash a devastating laser attack that can cut through anything. The Jupiter people are somewhat inspired by the Soviet Union.
  • In Assassin's Creed: The Fall #2, a comic book mini-series published by Wildstorm based on the Assassin's Creed universe, Nikolai Orelov prepares a dangerous siege on a Templar research station in remote Siberia, which concludes with the Tunguska event. See the Games section below for more details.
  • Jeff Smith's comic series RASL, which features technology inspired by Nikolai Tesla's experiments, notes the Tesla theory in issue #7.
  • In the Prequel comic to the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Decepticon Shockwave is depicted as causing the destruction.
  • In the Martin Mystère issue "Tunguska!" (#22, 1984) the event is explained as a "doomsday" of a hidden human civilization, originating from Europeans who fled the Inquisition and into Siberia during the Middle Ages and who, restrained from any repression, developed scientifically and technologically much faster than the rest of the world, inventing nuclear technology by the mid of the 19th century.
  • In East of West #1 the event occurs in the United States instead of Tunguska, after which the comic's universe starts to dramatically diverge from actual history.
  • In Before Tomorrowland, the tie-in comic book to the 2015 Disney film Tomorrowland, the Tunguska event is explained as resulting from an attempt by Nikola Tesla and confederates to rescue explorers from the other side of a wormhole.


  • In the computer/video game Area 51, the player can find references that the KGB found a partially destroyed craft, as well as evidence the spacecraft had been in that position for 10,000 years and that the Tunguska event was caused by another craft firing upon the buried craft.
  • In Destroy All Humans! 2, it is suggested the crash was caused by an alien battleship; the alien species within being the Furon enemy the Blisk. Following their arrival, the Blisk manipulated every significant event in Russian history until 1969 (when the entire species was destroyed by Crypto). In the world of DAH 2, a small community and military base has been built up around the crash site. The sightings of "Yeti" in the area are revealed to be caused by locals seeing the Blisk.
  • The Call of Cthulhu RPG explains this and similar phenomena as the result of Outer Gods like Azathoth entering the Earth's reality.
  • In Call of Duty: World at War, in the Shi No Numa map for the Nazi Zombies mini-game mode the word "Tunguska" can be found written through the window of the hut you see on the left when you exit the main building through storage hut door. Also, if you turn on all three radios in the starting room, the coordinates for the explosion are heard. Also, the Wunderwaffe DG-2 weapon, found on the maps "Der Reise" and "Shi No Numa", is powered by a certain element found in the meteor from the Tunguska event. It is theorized that a meteorite from the Tunguska event is found on the map "Shi No Numa". Element 115, which was used to create the teleporter, which turned test subjects into zombies, emanates from this meteorite.
  • In the pen and paper RPG Champions the Tunguska event results from a villainous group of mages casting a spell to destroy Earth's primary magical defender, the Archmage.
  • In the first-person shooter Crysis 2, one of the characters, Hargreave, first met the Cephalopoids, the alien menace from the series, at Tunguska a century ago. It is unknown what happened that caused the Event.
  • In the beginning of The X-Files: Resist or Serve video game it shows the Tunguska event and shows Black Oil coming in to infect a child.
  • In the 2003 game Empires: Dawn of the Modern World, the Russian civilization has a unique classified project called Tunguska Meteor which, when activated, creates similar damage to the atomic bomb dropped by the United States civilization.
  • The 1995 Forgotten Futures RPG adventure "The Fist of God" by Marcus Rowland, set in the word of Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger stories, assumes a human cause for the disaster.
  • In the 4th Edition of Steve Jackson's GURPS RPG, the Infinite Worlds campaign setting contains a parallel world, Lucifer-5, in which the Earth had continued its rotation for six hours before a black hole fragment, the same one that had hit Tunguska in our timeline, hit and obliterated St Petersburg, Russia.
  • In the game Impossible Creatures, it is said that the Tunguska event is caused by a test of a "Death-Ray" developed by Nikola Tesla and Erik Chanikov, killing Dr. Chanikov's wife and driving him into exile. At the start of the 15-missions campaign, a newspaper clipping is shown on a desk with the headline: "Dr. Chanikov's appearance linked to Tunguska event". There is also a map called Tunguska in the game, which is a wasteland scattered with coal (which can be gathered and used as fuel). Like all other maps, this map is an island in the South Pacific.
  • In the Assassin's Creed series, specifically Assassin's Creed II and related comics, the Tunguska event was caused by Nikola Tesla, who with Assassins, destroyed a Templar base which had within it the Staff of Eden. He used his Wardenclyffe Tower to transmit a wireless electrical signal directly to the aforementioned Staff, causing it to catastrophically overload and explode, suggesting that all Pieces will explode like that if overloaded.
  • The storyline of real-time strategy videogame PSI: Syberian Conflict is dedicated to Tunguska event, where the event itself approach to be crash of alien leader's ship. Some decades after, during the Cold War aliens send rescue-squad to find their leader and many battles between aliens and soviets take place in the surroundings of Tunguska.
  • In the 2006 game Resistance: Fall of Man, the Chimera, a fictional race that are the main enemies in the game, first appear in Siberia shortly after the Tunguska event in the game's alternate history, leading the human forces to theorise that their origin is extraterrestrial. In the timeline, the Chimera take over a then Tsar-led Russian Autocracy, sealing Russia off until the invasion of Europe in 1949.
  • In the 2011 game Rush'n Attack: Ex-Patriot, the previously unknown element Ulyssium is said to have been created from some unknown debris from the Tunguska event.
  • The 2006 adventure game Secret Files: Tunguska, published by Deep Silver, is based on the Tunguska event.
  • In the fighting video game SNK vs Capcom: Chaos, one alien-like character called the Mars People has an ultimate attack which is named "Tungus Incident", where it sends UFOs crashing down on the enemy.
  • In the 2014 adventure game Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure, the Tunguska event is mentioned as the result of Nikola Tesla's "teleforce beam", or "death ray".
  • In the White Wolf Werewolf: The Apocalypse supplement "Rage Across Russia", the Tunguska blast is explained as the result as of a battle between a dragon and powerful Mage.
  • In TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, the description of a challenge called "Big Game Hunt" in Arcade Mode about hunting mutated deer says: "The wildlife has mutated and now locals are enjoying the best hunting season since aliens landed in Tunguska back in 1908."
  • In Borderlands 2, the player can find an extremely rare rocket launcher named the Tunguska. The weapon's flavour text ("It will split the sky in two") references an eyewitness account of the event. The rocket launcher is very powerful and creates a large explosion.
  • In the Japanese 2012 visual novel Rewrite made by Key, the Tunguska event was actually an explosion caused by the Key.
  • In the Lifeline sequel Crisis Line, the Green Eyed Invaders are trying to find some off-white crystals that were discovered at the site of the Tunguska Event.
  • In the Japanese tower defense game, The Battle Cats, there is a level in Area 22, titled Tunguska Event. The level is alien-themed.


  • Characters in the 2013 science fiction film Coherence discuss the Tunguska event during a blackout.
  • In the 1960 movie First Spaceship on Venus, based on Stanisław Lem's novel, an expedition discovered a magnetic recording device at Tunguska, determined its origin as the planet Venus, and a newly completed spacecraft was sent to Venus instead of Mars as originally planned. The expedition determined, from translation of the recording, that the aliens planned to occupy Earth, but they discovered that the people of Venus were abruptly rendered extinct by their incomprehensible machinery.
  • In the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) tells Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) after the film's climax that "You have been a participant in the biggest interdimensional cross-rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!" (one year later than the event actually occurred).
  • In the director's cut of the 2004 film Hellboy, Grigori Rasputin purchases a stone key monolith which the Russians had hidden since it landed in Tunguska. Rasputin states that the Ogdru Jahad sent it as a way to assist him in bringing them to Earth.
  • In the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the character Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) has experience dissecting cadavers believed to be extraterrestrial in origin. She mentions the Tunguska event to Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and describes her experiences dissecting two such cadavers found in Russia, suggesting that one or both of the Russian cadavers were recovered from the site of the Tunguska event. It is established later that the cadavers were extradimensional travelers, thirteen of whom were based in Akator or El Dorado in Peru. The same information appears in the novelization of the film by James Rollins.
  • The 1980 film Target...Earth? features Victor Buono, as "Homer the Archivist", examining theories of the event. Nineteen pertinent persons, including Eugene Shoemaker, Isaac Asimov, Willard Frank Libby and Alexander Kazantsev were interviewed for this film. There is one other version, Target Earth? (1978), which has a far smaller cast.
  • Tunguska, a 2014 science-fiction thriller, details that the Tunguska event was caused by an extraterrestrial space ship that crashed, with only one survivor, who escapes from military confinement in present day, and wreaks havoc on a small North Carolina town.

TV shows[edit]

  • "Listening to Fear", a fifth-season episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, involves a meteor impact, thought to be the newest in a series dating back to the twelfth century. Willow Rosenberg notes that "the most recent meteoritic anomaly was the Tunguska blast in Russia in 1917", getting the date wrong by nine years and ascribing it to the year of the Bolshevik Revolution. She also appears to mispronounce the place name as "Tungusta."
  • In "Part 4 - Heaven and Hell" of the television show Cosmos, Carl Sagan recounts the scientific process used to deduce the possible causes of the Tunguska event and describes why each suggestion is either plausible or implausible.
  • In the first-season episode "Dalek" from the revived series of Doctor Who, a cure for the common cold was found in 'the Russian crater'.
  • In the last episode of the fifth series of Peep Show, Jeremy joins a cult called the New Wellness Centre that purports to derive its knowledge from gold plates obtained from the Tunguska site.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "That Which Survives", after the landing party experiences an unusually large seismic event, Sulu begins to recount the Tunguska event as a possible cause for the quake they experienced, only to be cut off by Kirk, who says that, "If I wanted a Russian history lesson, I would have brought Mr. Chekov."
  • In a two-episode story arc of The X-Files ("Tunguska" and "Terma"), the Tunguska incident was purported to be caused by an asteroid impact. Fox Mulder traveled with Alex Krycek to the site of the impact, where they discovered a military installation mining the rock and experimenting with the black oil found inside, which contained a microbial form of alien life capable of possessing a human body.[8]
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Enemy of the Bane" centers around possession of an alien artifact known as "The Tunguska Scroll"
  • The second-season episode "Tempest" of the TV Show XIII: The Series refers to the Tunguska event as having been caused by Nikola Tesla during one of the Wardenclyffe Tower experiments.
  • The television series The Secret KGB UFO Files (Phenomenon: The Lost Archives) in 1998, broadcast on Turner Network Television, referred to the Tunguska event as "the Russian Roswell" and claimed that crashed UFO debris had been recovered from the site.[4]
  • The television series Siberia on American channel NBC, is set in the area around the epicenter of the event. The first season's plot ostensibly revolves around a second Tunguska event happening, whose effects are based on local folklore. The event is referred to as "one of the most puzzling events to ever take place" by one of the characters. One of the characters also finds a keepsake bracelet in a stream with an engraved date of 1908. However the oblique references imply that the Tunguska event was something other than a meteor explosion, and hint at something supernatural.
  • Dark Matters: Twisted But True considers claims that the Tunguska event was caused by Nikola Tesla during one of the Wardenclyffe Tower death ray experiments in a story entitled "Radio Waves of Death".
  • In the Doctor Who episode "In the Forest of the Night", the Doctor mentions the Tunguska event as an example of where rapid tree growth helped save humanity.[9]
  • The TV show Primeval explains the Tunguska event as caused by a part of the meteorite that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, having travelled through a time anomaly.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Lazarus Rising", Dean Winchester is "raised from perdition" by the angel Castiel, in an event that mimics the Tunguska event, in which trees are visibly flattened.
  • In the ninth episode of The Librarians, "And The City of Light", Cassandra Cillian mentions how an experimental capacitor has the potential to cause an explosion on the scale of the Tunguska disaster.
  • In the 2016 tokusatsu series Ultraman Orb, the past setting took place in 1908 in a fictional country called Rusalka (ルサールカ, Rusāruka). The title character Ultraman Orb fought against Maga-Zetton and destroyed it, creating a huge explosion that engulfed the entire forest. According to the Blu-Ray release of the series, the great explosion in Rusalka is indeed inspired from the Tunguska event.


  • Debbie Harry's "Maybe for Sure" single (1990) has a "Tunguska Event 7" mix.
  • Alan Parsons' 2004 release entitled A Valid Path features a nine-minute epic entitled "Return to Tunguska" that plays with some of the more other-worldly notions surrounding the event.
  • The Red Sparowes' 2006 Split EP with Gregor Samsa contained a song titled "I Saw the Sky in the North Open to the Ground and Fire Poured Out", and the record sleeve features other quotations from eyewitnesses to the Tunguska event.
  • Suns of the Tundra's April 2006 release is entitled Tunguska.
  • Darkest Hour's 2007 release, Deliver Us features a song entitled "Tunguska" which features an allusion to the Tunguska event.
  • Cymbals Eat Guitars released the song "Tunguska" on their 2009 single ...And the Hazy Sea/Tunguska that references the event. The band then released a modified version of the song titled "Another Tunguska" on their 2011 album Lenses Alien.
  • Fanfarlo released a song called "Tunguska" on their 2012 release, Rooms Filled with Light that references the event.
  • The 10th track on Isao Tomita's 1978 album "The Bermuda Triangle" is titled "The Dazzling Cylinder That Crashed In Tunguska, Siberia (Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6: First Movement)"[10]
  • The music video for Metallica's "All Nightmare Long" is a fictional twist of the Tunguska event, with the music video beginning with a documentary style discussing the event and how spores from the impact site seemed to reanimate dead tissue. This leads to a zombie invasion and war throughout the 8 minute music video.
  • South African band Tribe after Tribe's 2002 album Enchanted Entrance contains a track titled "Tunguska", which compares a girl to a comet exploding in the sky over Tunguska.
  • 2nd single from the 2018 Hopesfall album Arbiter is titled Tunguska. “Yesterday, we actually engaged someone on Twitter about a Ghostbusters reference to the Great Siberian Tunguska of 1908,” vocalist Jay Forrest says. “The song is referencing the real phenomenon.”[11]


  1. ^ https://www.amazon.com/The-Face-Oo-Charles-Stephenson/dp/1782995501
  2. ^ http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9680116-the-war-of-immensities
  3. ^ "Scientist Claims UFO Collided with Tunguska Meteorite to Save Earth".
  4. ^ a b Robert Roy Britt (12 August 2004). "Russian Alien Spaceship Claims Raise Eyebrows, Skepticism". Space.com. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  5. ^ Robinson, Spider (2001). "Chapter 13". Callahan's Key (Paperback ed.). Bantam Spectra. p. 208. ISBN 0-553-58060-4.
  6. ^ Clarke, Arthur C. (1994). Rendezvous with Rama (Hardcover ed.). Lightyear Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-89968-449-9.
  7. ^ http://futureshockd.wordpress.com/tag/2000ad/page/7/
  8. ^ The X-Files - Tunguska/Terma (1996)
  9. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4SB4r2MLzJsRZ95qTNCTXmn/in-the-forest-of-the-night-fact-file
  10. ^ "The Dazzling Cylinder That Crashed In Tunguska, Siberia (Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6: First Movement)". Discogs.
  11. ^ "Hopesfall break the reunion curse, come back swinging with "Tunguska" - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-12.

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