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Most Popular Beliefs and Superstitions about Meteors


The occurrence of unusual natural phenomena would often cause anxiety among people in ancient times. As with every new thing, they tried to explain away the phenomena, looking to religion or the experience they had gained over the years. Among the occurrences that they linked to superstitions were meteors.

Long ago, meteors were thought to foreshadow different events or that they themselves were messages sent by higher beings. One of the more common ideas was that the gods sent these messages. Of course, not all cultures interpreted them the same way. Some welcomed them, while others saw them as a bad omen because they had angered the gods.

Ancient man tried to find an explanation for everything. When someone fell sick, he looked for the cause of this. When he recovered, this too was no accident. The event most likely had to do with a higher power.

The same thing applied to meteors. The ancients also believed that they were evidence of spirits coming to visit Earth. But this claim was not accepted by everyone even then. According to the Native Americans, meteors were indeed evidence of wandering spirits but these they thought to be the souls of their shamans, who were trying to make their way to the afterlife.

The appearance of meteors in ancient times would often frighten Earth's denizens. Some of them stood by the claim that meteors were harbingers of horrible events and prophesied death, diseases and ruin. But they could not support these claims with real scientific evidence.

In other cultures, meteors were seen as bringers of good luck and prosperity. According to the Swabians, meteors a.k.a. falling stars, brought good fortune and success. The only catch was that the person witness such an event only once per night. If they were to see a falling star 3 times in one night, nothing good would come of it.

In Chile they have their own views about meteors. There exists the belief that the person needs to grab a stone whenever a shooting star passes by their field of vision. According to Philippine legends, as soon as we see a falling star we need to immediately tie our handkerchief in a knot, before the falling star's light fades.

In some parts of the US, meteors are considered dangerous. They say that you should never point toward a meteor with your finger. Another very popular belief around the world is that the person should wish for something when they see a shooting star and that their wish will always come true. It's also thought that if 2 people look at a meteor shower together, they'd be forever connected.