The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event is perhaps the most famous in the mind of the public. It wiped out the dinosaurs. The evidence points to a giant asteroid, with the famous impact crator found at Chicxulub (pronounced Cheek-sue-loob). Part of the impact crater lies on the Yucatan peninsula Mexico, and part of it lies underneath the Gulf of Mexico. In terms of biodiversity, it killed approximately 50% of the Earth’s families.
This pales in comparison to the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event, which wiped out over 90% of life in the oceans and 70% on land. It’s cause has been a great mystery.
In an article surfacing recently, scientists may have discovered the asteroid responsible. The results are preliminary, and only time will tell how this progresses, but the finding is quite interesting.
An apparent crater as big as Ohio has been found in Antarctica. Scientists think it was carved by a space rock that caused the greatest mass extinction on Earth, 250 million years ago.
The crater, buried beneath a half-mile (1 kilometer) of ice and discovered by some serious airborne and satellite sleuthing, is more than twice as big as the one involved in the demise of the dinosaurs.
This would have been at the time Antarctica was still a part of the southern super continent, Gondwanaland.
Personally, if an impact this size was responsible for the biggest extinction event in earth’s history, it’s likely to have been the first in a series of events that ultimately led to the demise of most of Earth’s life. The precise progression and details of this series may not be knowable, but the impact that started it all may have just been found.