The Great Invisible Crater – Manson, Iowa

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Home of the largest crater in the United States

Manson, IA is located near the site of the Manson crater, formed by a meteorite collision that happened 74 million years ago. The crater’s existence was first discovered during an oil-drilling expedition in the 1930s. At one time, it was thought to be the biggest impact by an object from outer space in North America. The impact event was also once theorized to have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The impact crater measures approximately 24 miles in diameter. I pleaded my case to my fellow RAGBRIA van mates to go see this monstrous attraction. Only to learn not much remains due to glacial till, which has filled in the crater and has made it undetectable at ground level. Essentially, it is a filled in hole and thus invisible.

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The city, however, is proud of its largest crater designation and celebrates its Greater Crater Days the last full weekend in June. The town has a quaint main street with a few little shops and restaurants. It did make for a great lunch stop where I was to endure much ribbing for finding really nothing.

If  you want to actually SEE something really big. Travel up the road to Pocahontas, IA and see a 25′ foot tall sculpture of Pocahontas, the Princess Giant. Also on the grounds is a giant teepee and interpretation center.

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