This 14-year-old boy is Gerrit Blank, and he is probably smiling because he survived a 30,000 mph meteorite hit. His tale—confirmed by scientists at Germany's Walter Hohmann Observatory—seems like the genesis of a superhero:

At first I just saw a large ball of light, and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand. Then a split second after that there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder. The noise that came after the flash of light was so loud that my ears were ringing for hours afterwards. When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself into the road.

That could have been written by Stan Lee himself, but it is what really happened. According to scientists, the highly magnetic rock—the size of a pea—came from outer space. It was probably a lot bigger when it entered the atmosphere, but this was the bit that survived the burning process. It hit him on his hand, leaving a 3-inch scar. If the hot meteorite had hit him on his head or torso, he would be dead now.

Only one other human has survived a meteor strike—a one in a million chance. [The Daily Telegraph]