Scientists say some 65 million years ago, a giant asteroid hit Earth causing its dominant species, dinosaurs, to be leveled off.
Recently scientists dug into the crater this destructive asteroid created to find clues as the how it both caused the death of the dinosaurs and encouraged new life to form on the planet.
The crater itself is located in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Known as the Chicxulub Crater, scientists have dug underneath the gulf of Mexico to study the peak rings the crater created upon impact.
When the asteroid collided with Earth, it hit with the intensity of 100 million atomic bombs.
What was left behind was the Chicxulub Crater, which is 100 miles wide. The breadth of the crater partially demonstrates how dually large and forceful the dinosaur-killing asteroid was.
To study the crater, scientists dug 4,380 feet under the Gulf of Mexico. They published their findings in the journal Science.
And while the asteroid certainly destroyed entire species, it was also the catalyst for many other types of plants and animals to make their home on Earth.
Lead author Joanna Morgan and professor at Imperial College London stated:
“It is hard to believe that the same forces that destroyed the dinosaurs may have also played a part, much earlier on in Earth’s history, in providing the first refuges for early life on the planet. We are hoping that further analyses of the core samples will provide more insights into how life can exist in these subterranean environments.”
The asteroid impact provides some theories for how life on Earth have developed. One is that once the asteroid hit the earth, it turned the rock porous and soft. When mixed with water, it gave organisms a nice place to flourish and grow, giving life to new plants and species.
Because of this, they think that perhaps other asteroids have collided with Earth in the past to create other life forms that have flourished in modern times.
According to researchers, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs may just be the very thing that has given life to many things in our modern times.
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