Passenger Can't Believe View out the Plane Over Arizona: 'Meteor Crater'

A plane passenger couldn't believe their eyes when they looked out the window over Arizona and saw a meteor crater.

The massive gouge in the Earth's surface was clearly visible from the sky, arguably one of the better vantage points to appreciate its vastness. The traveler shared a snap to Reddit, under username u/aurallyskilled, aka Gina, as they raved about the incredible view.

"I saw a meteor crater from my plane seat in the middle of the Western USA!!" they captioned the photo, which can be seen here.

Photo of meteor from plane window.
Photo of meteor from plane window. A plane passenger snapped this incredible shot while above Arizona. Gina

Speaking to Newsweek, passenger Gina explained she was flying to Australia when she captured the stunning shot.

She said: "When I saw that meteorite crater, I had the thought that it was auspicious. It seemed otherworldly, like close-up shots of Mars.

"It made me think moving to Australia and traveling in planes for nearly one day was like being an astronaut on a new expedition."

Since being shared on Monday the post has racked up nearly 65,000 upvotes, with many others in awe at the sight.

The landmark is aptly called Meteor Crater and located in northern Arizona. It was designated a natural landmark by the Department of the Interior in 1968.

An introduction on meteorcrater.com explains: "Over 50,000 years ago space and earth came together when a huge iron-nickel meteorite, approximately 150 feet wide and weighing several hundred thousand tons, impacted an area outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, with a force 150 times greater than an atomic bomb.

"The result of this impact was devastation for miles and the creation of the giant bowl-shaped cavity we call Meteor Crater, which measures 550 feet deep and almost a mile wide.

Aerial view of meteor crater.
An aerial view of Meteor Crater Flagstaff, Arizona. A Reddit user was blown away by the sight during a recent plane journey over the national landmark. Google Maps

"The meteorite weighed 300,000 tons and traveled at a speed of 26,000 miles per hour (12 kilometers per second). When it struck the earth in what is now northern Arizona, it exploded with the force of 2 ½ million tons of TNT, or about 150 times the force of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

"Most of the meteorite was melted by the force of the impact and spread across the landscape in a very fine, nearly atomized mist of molten metal.

"Millions of tons of limestone and sandstone were blasted out of the crater, covering the ground for a mile in every direction with a blanket of shattered, pulverized, and partially melted rock mixed with fragments of meteoritic iron."

The gaping hole was initially three-quarters of a mile wide and 750 feet deep, but over time the shifting environment, including the Ice Age and a lake forming at the bottom, reduced the size to its current depth.

Redditors were blown away by the sight, as CorkBullet raved: "That's amazing. Great shot."

Flavahbeast commented: "Such a fine sight to see (the meteor crater.)"

Bernd1968 said: "I have been there, amazing. One mile across."

While Bowser93x added: "That crater is a mile long, just an example of how big the earth is."

Newsweek reached out to u/aurallyskilled for comment.

Aerial view of meteor crater, Arizona.
An aerial view of Meteor Crater Flagstaff, Arizona. A Reddit user was blown away by the sight during a recent plane journey over the national landmark. Google Maps

Update 7/7/22, 5:24 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment and a photo from Gina.