New Evidence Suggests Sodom and Gomorrah Could Have Been Caused By a Rare Natural Phenomenon

Connecting modern science to old stories

Grant Piper
4 min readSep 24, 2021


16th century painting depicting Sodom and Gomorrah (Public domain)

The Book of Genesis recounts the destruction of two sinful cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. In the tale, God destroys the towns and their inhabitants with fire from the sky. Pillars of sulfur and flame shoot down and annihilate the cities for their wickedness.

Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities — and also the vegetation in the land. — Genesis 19:24–25

This story has been passed down for thousands of years, but new evidence suggests that the cities were probably real and probably destroyed by fire from the sky. Researchers in the Jordan valley recently published a new paper in which they point to a rare but natural phenomenon that could have destroyed the cities in the way that the Bible describes.

New insights from Tall el-Hammam

Modern scientists and historians have long wondered whether an asteroid strike could have wiped out the cities in the Bible. The only problem with that theory was that there were no craters found at the site or nearby. The lack of an impact site baffled many people for years, but now a new theory suggests that the towns likely were destroyed by a space rock, but the asteroid never made it to the ground.

While working at the ancient site of Tall el-Hammam, archeologists discovered evidence pointing to an explosion of biblical proportions. Melted pottery, charred remains, and blasted houses point to a massive event akin to a modern nuclear bomb, which took place around 1650BCE. Researchers say that the blast would have produced temperatures over 2000C and winds of over 700mph. Nothing would have survived, just like in the biblical account.

The site very much looks like a place where an asteroid struck, and now they have clued in on why there is no crater present.

The asteroid exploded in midair, above the city.

An air burst event



Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.