The collision that caused a crater and destroyed 90% of life on the planet (yes,, maybe)





Recently, researchers using data from Grace (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellite program) announced that they had found the possible remains of an enormous crater a mile below the East Antarctic ice sheet — the result of an impact that may have wiped out 90 percent of life on earth some 250 million years ago.

To look back to that catastrophe — called the Permian-Triassic extinction — you have to imagine all of earth's continents merged in a single great land mass surrounded by a single great ocean. It's possible that the collision that caused this newfound crater — four or five times as big as the crater from the impact that is believed to have extinguished the dinosaurs 65 million years ago — may have helped create a rift that began to drive the continents apart.



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