• The motif in the centre of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor (ca. 2000-1900 BCE) concerns a star that fell to earth and caused the extinction of a population of giant serpents on an enchanted island, whose location is traditionally ascribed to the Red Sea. These creatures could apparently breathe fire, but they themselves were “burned utterly” in the fireball that followed the celestial body’s impact with the earth. If the recently postulated Late Holocene meteorite impact (