Earth-Shattering Impact!

The Chicxulub crater is a buried impact crater (180 km wide) on the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula that is believed to have caused widespread destruction and global climate disruption, resulting in the deaths of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. The space rock is estimated to have been between 10-15 km wide and collided with the force of 10 billion nuclear bombs, forming Earth’s third largest recorded impact crater!

earth-impact

Interesting Facts About The Colossal Chicxulub Crater!

  • Despite the Chicxulub crater being buried, evidence of a colossal crater first arose from a magnetic survey when the oil company Pemex was prospecting off Mexico’s coast in 1978. Throughout the 1980’s further gravity data, surface feature identification and rock samples subsequently emerged pointing to the presence of a largely hidden impact crater.
  • Measuring 180 km in diameter and 20 km depth, the Chicxulub crater is the third largest impact crater discovered on Earth.
  • The Chicxulub crater was dated to be 66 million years old, the same age as the famous K-Pg geological boundary which marked the extinction of the large dinosaurs.
  • The comet or asteroid which struck Earth has been calculated to have been 10 to 15 kilometres in diameter and initially created a crater 100 kilometres (62 miles) wide and 30 kilometres deep.
  • The force of the impact is believed to have been equivalent to 10 billion atomic bombs of the size dropped on Hiroshima being set off at once!
  • The Chicxulub crater, which is located half under the sea and half on land, is now buried under sediment up to 600m in depth.
  • The impact that formed the Chicxulub crater would have had a catastrophic effect on the entire Earth for many years. The impact would have sent a deadly shockwave around the world, triggered a megatsunami and a super-hot burning cloud of debris spreading across the surrounding area for thousands of miles. Not to mention the ejection of rock and dust into the atmosphere!
  • The impact at Chicxulub would have thus been deadly to life on Earth, hence why it’s regarded as being responsible for the sudden disappearance of the dinosaurs from the fossil record 66 million years ago (Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event).
 
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