Within days, a total of 132 craters and smaller pits created by the explosion of the fireball were discovered in the Sikhote-Alin mountains, with the largest being about 85 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep.
What makes the Sikhote-Alin meteorite so special is that it produced craters whose cause was known beyond the shadow of a doubt. The fall convinced a largely skeptical world that craters could indeed be created by meteorites -- a hypothesis which had been proven only by indirect evidence up until that point.
Furthermore, study of the craters allowed scientists to understand far better what happens when a large meteorite slams into the Earth. For instance, they discovered that it is only smaller meteorites that survive their landings intact -- the force of the collision is so great that larger bodies splinter into fragments immediately upon impact.