The Mystery of the Lunar Schism: What Really Happened in 1178?

In June 1178, a group of monks from Canterbury, England, witnessed an unusual phenomenon in the sky. They saw the moon, they said, split in two. This event has intrigued modern astronomers and historians for decades, and we are still discovering new clues and theories about what might have caused this mysterious lunar phenomenon.

The event was recorded by the monk Gervase of Canterbury in a manuscript called the Gesta Stephani. Gervais recorded how around 9:00 p.m. that night the moon grew larger and larger, and then the monks saw “the upper horn of the moon split in two.” He also described how a burning torch smashed into the moon, causing a bright light and a column of smoke. This smoke remained visible for some time after the impact.

However, did the monks really think the moon split in two? It should have been obvious pretty quickly that the moon was still intact. If they didn’t really think the moon split in two, why did they describe it that way? Perhaps the description was simply a result of the limited language and understanding of the time, and the difficulty of observing celestial objects without modern technology. Perhaps the monks did not understand what they were seeing and lacked the terminology and knowledge to describe it accurately.

There are several theories as to what might have caused this mysterious lunar phenomenon. One has to do with a meteorite falling on the moon. There is a 22-kilometer crater on the moon, roughly where Jervais described the moon splitting. Astronomers studying this crater noticed that the long, bright radial tracks formed during the formation of the crater had not yet been erased by the lunar dust. They concluded that the crater had formed relatively recently.

At first, the astronomical community supported these conclusions, but then this possibility began to be denied, and any attempts to prove otherwise were immediately ridiculed by the scientific community. This is interesting indeed. Interesting in light of the version of a very recent global cataclysm, and here’s why:

When a meteorite hit the moon in 1178, a gift of such force would have caused ten million tons of lunar material to be sent toward Earth. This would have caused about 100,000 meteorites to fall to Earth per hour. An event of this magnitude would have been seen by everyone in the world, not just five monks in Canterbury. But, what if not only was it seen, but in addition it caused a real “meteoric apocalypse” on earth? The fact that it was only mentioned in the book of the monks does not tell us anything. The rest of the historical sources could have been destroyed for the sake of rewriting history.

Of course we will not know for sure what happened in 1178, but this event continues to intrigue scholars and historians. It reminds us that our universe is full of mysteries and riddles that we are still trying to unravel.

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