Well, what a lucky shot for humanity. Scientists are now saying that if the asteroid that killed all of the dinosaurs went another direction, then we would be living in a nightmare.
Over 65 million years ago, an asteroid hit the rocky terrain of the Yucatan Peninsula. This impact raised the soot from the ground and this dust blocked off the sun. This event eliminated future plant growth and eventually caused, due to the lack of food, the extinction of dinosaurs.
Even through the asteroid left a scar on the Earth with a diameter of 5.6 miles, the odds of a mass extinction caused by an asteroid of that size is only 13%. According to new research from Japanese scientists Kunio Kaiho and Naga Oshima released in the journal Scientific Reports, the dinosaurs “were unlucky.”
Even though an asteroid of that same size hitting the earth is very rare, the same event hitting an area rich with hydrocarbon and sulfate is just a one-in-a-million strike.
After the impact, the materials warmed up and they formed into poisonous clouds that caused widespread cooling and droughts, the scientists reported in their study.
“The amount of hydrocarbon and sulfur in rocks varies widely, depending on location,” the scientists found. They came to the conclusion that 87% of the Earth’s surface didn’t have enough of these deposits.
Because of the soot blocking out the sunlight, the average temperature on Earth dropped by 10 degrees Celsius (18 F). The soot also destroyed plant life and drove the existing ecosystem to a total collapse. In total, about 75% of animals and almost all dinosaurs were extinct.
“The site of the asteroid impact, therefore, changed the history of life on Earth,” both scientists wrote.
The presumed site of the impact is off the Gulf of Mexico, on the Yucatan which is a partly submerged carter about 180 kilometers wide and 20 kilometers deep.