By Lenny Pierce
Just be glad that you live in this particular chapter of life’s history on Earth. Be glad that you weren’t around when the asteroid that formed the Chicxulub crater hit and be really, really, really glad you weren’t around when one about 4X as big plopped down well before that. About 3.26 billion years ago, a 57km wide asteroid smacked the earth traveling 72,000 kph and created a crater that would have measured 500km wide. Since no actual crater of this geological puncture wound remains, scientists have recreated what the impact site may have looked like for the first time.
The sizes of the Chicxulub crater asteroid (the one thought to have caused the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event) and the much larger asteroid that touched down 3.26 billion years ago as compared to an oddly lush and forested Mount Everest. (American Geophysical Union)
Life on Earth sprouted at around 3.8 billion years ago, which would mean it was still in its elementary stages by the time this asteroid hit. Upon impact, the top layers of the ocean would have immediately boiled and the air would have become incredibly hot and dusty. Talk about a rough childhood. But in the words of chaotician Dr. …read more