Meteorites. Bolides. Impact craters. They’ve inspired some very bad science fiction movies, yet one only has to turn a small telescope to the face of our battered Moon to realize that our solar neighborhood is a shooting gallery for flying rocks. Of course, the Moon lacks the effects of wind, rain, and erosion that remove most of the evidence of impacts here on Earth. As a result, visible evidence of impact craters on our own planet is relatively rare.
Thus far, 178 terrestrial impact sites worldwide are known, with more than 30 in the United States (various sources reveal different figures). Many were discovered through geological sampling or aerial photography; very few look like an actual crater from ground level. The following five sites are some of the most visible examples of impact craters in the United States, places where you can stand and imagine a past Armageddon.