The small group of craters called Kaalijiirv is located 20km northeast of Kingisepp on the island of Saaremaa .
The crater field consists of a circular main crater, 110m in diameter , and eight small craters, or rather impact holes, ranging from 12 to 50 m in diameter. The distance between the main crater in north-northwest and crater No. 3 in south-southwest is about 1 km and the largest distance between the impact holes in a direction perpendicular to this is 0.6 km. The main crater has at present a bottom which is 9-10 m lower than the surroundings and a rim which is raised 6-7 m above the surroundings.
Meteoritic fragments have only been found in the impact holes. They range in size from 38 g and downwards and total less than 0.5 kg. They are mostly in a badly weathered condition, but some still permit recognition as similar to the sharply twisted slugs known from the Henbury, Canyon Diablo and other crater fields.
Scholars maintain that the event figured prominently in regional mythology. It was, and still is, considered a sacred lake. There is archaeological evidence that it may well have been a place of ritual sacrifice. At some point during the early Iron Age, the lake was surrounded by a stone wall 470 meters long, with a median width of about 2.5 meters and an average height of 2.0 meters.
Finnish mythology has stories that may originate with the formation of Kaali. One of them is in runes 47, 48 and 49 of the Kalevala epic: Louhi, the evil wizard, steals the Sun and fire from people, causing total darkness. Ukko, the god of the sky, orders a new Sun to be made from a spark. The virgin of the air starts to make a new Sun, but the spark drops from the sky and hits the ground. This spark goes to an "Aluen" or "Kalevan" lake and causes its water to rise. Finnish heroes see the ball of fire falling somewhere "behind the Neva river" (the direction of Estonia from Karelia). The heroes head in that direction to seek fire, and they finally gather flames from a forest fire.
According to a theory first proposed by Lennart Meri, it is possible that Saaremaa was the legendary Thule island, first mentioned by ancient Greek geographer Pytheas, whereas the name "Thule" could have been connected to the Finnic word tule ("(of) fire") and the folklore of Estonia, which depicts the birth of the crater lake in Kaali. Kaali was considered the place where "The sun went to rest."
Grady, Monica M.
Thirty rusted fragments from 0.1 g to 24 g, total weight 100 g were found in the Kaalijarv craters after a long search, I.A. Reinwald (1938).Described with an analysis, 8.32% Ni, 6.45% Ni, L.J. Spencer (1937). Description, Z.A. Yudin (1968). Description, impact deformation, V.F. Buchwald (1975). Several other fragments were found in a search in 1996: 5.2g in crater 3; 45.6g in crater 4; 1522.1g in crater 5; 5.lg in crater 6; 467.9g in crater 7; plus a further 2kg of crumbs from all craters; letter of 11 October1999, from T. Pani, Geological Museum, Univ. Tartu, , in Min. Dept., NHM, London
100g, Geol Inst., Tartu
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