About sixty five million years ago, toward the end of the age of the dinosaurs, Wetumpka was the site of a significant meteorite strike that left a crater four miles wide. Some even speculate that the meteorite may have been a piece that broke off from a large asteroid that hit in the Yucatan about the same time.
Today Wetumpka sits at the bottom of what remains of the western brim of the crater created when this gigantic meteorite hit. When looking at a map, it is obvious that the Coosa River changed its course away from the hard layers of rock that were formed from the impact.
Until recent times, scientists speculated that there were about twenty meteorite impact craters present on the surface of the earth, though geologists had noted the strange rocks near Wetumpka as early as the turn of the century. Satellite photography and later exploration revealed the true nature of this amazing structure tagged at the end of the Appalachian Mountains. The astrobleme, as it is called in scientific circles, is unique in the geology of the region. Nowhere along the entire 2,250 miles of the Piedmont border is there anything remotely similar.
Mayor Jerry Willis, along with several local citizens, is interested in developing an educational facility on the brim to interpret the site for visitors and help them understand the dynamics of our amazing geological history.
The southern most edge of this crater can be seen from an overlook at Jasmine Hills Gardens.