Chilean paleontologist Mario Pino and James Kennett a professor emeritus of geology at UC Santa Barbara state that a major cosmic impact took place on Earth in Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) period in Southern Hemisphere, 12.800 years ago.
Geological evidence of the events was found in Osorno province in southern Chile, and researchers believe that the impact caused massive destructions, including global cooling, biomass burning, and megafaunal extinctions. “It’s much more extreme than I ever thought when I started this work,” “The more work that has been done, the more extreme it seems,” Kennet said.
What exactly did researchers discover?
Researchers discovered an impact crater was microscopic tiny spheres of minerals with a high concentration of platinum, gold, and iron particles were present, and they also found particles of chromium, present in the Northern Hemisphere.
There was already evidence that an impact took place in the Northern Hemisphere, so researches came to the conclusion that the cosmic objects hit South America in the same period.
Other evidence shows that the same celestial object caused the event. More specifically, the discovery of micro-charcoal and pollen samples in the impact layer suggests that.
A major shift of the climate
A significant change of the climate happened, as suddenly the weather became cold and wet in North, while in the South it became warm and dry, which could also explain the extinction of large animals such as sabretooth cats or mammoths took place in South America and the found of fossilized samples of bones and artifacts in the impact layer.
The fact that an impact took place both in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere could also explain how climate shifts act in synchrony, like a seesaw.
Why are such discoveries important?
Even though this event happened thousands of years ago, the finding of a major cosmic impact on Earth 13,000 years ago can help us understand the way the life evolution occurred on Earth.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.