Ever since archeologists began digging up the bones of huge dragonlike creatures, the world has been wondering what happened to the dinosaurs, where did they all go? The answers have varied over the years, from the claim that Noah’s flood killed them off, to the suggestion that they evolved into birds, or that the climate shifted into an ice age and killed them. One of the most popular theories was that a massive asteroid was involved. That theory has now been confirmed. Scientists working on debris from an asteroid in Chicxulub, Mexico have found that the asteroid hit the earth within 11,000 years of when the massive extinction took place.
Around 66.03 and 66.04 million year ago, the cretaceous-paleogene extinction wiped out about 75 percent of the world’s species, including almost all the dinosaurs. Scientists now believe that there is evidence the world’s atmosphere had been shifting and that the impact from the asteroid was the coup de grace that did them in.
The asteroid was in 9 miles wide and released 420 zettajoules of energy — two million times stronger than the world’s largest nuclear detonation.
“The impact was clearly the final straw that pushed Earth past the tipping point,” said researcher Paul Renne. “We have shown that these events are synchronous to within a gnat’s eyebrow, and therefore the impact clearly played a major role in the extinctions, but it probably wasn’t just the impact.”
The Earth’s climate had been changing already. “These precursory phenomena made the global ecosystem much more sensitive to even relatively small triggers, so that what otherwise might have been a fairly minor effect shifted the ecosystem into a new state…. the impact was the coup de grace.”
Landing in the ocean, it would have made gigantic tsunamis, and also blotted out the sun with a massive dust cloud. This is the most solid confirmation we have that it was indeed an asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.