The story about how a giant flaming asteroid crashed into our planet and killed the dinosaurs is fairly known by those who have at least a small percent of interest in this subject. The event happened 66 million years ago, when the 6 miles rock slammed into the continental shelf. Now, in that region, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is located. It was like 10 billion nuclear bombs exploded at the same time.
Material from the ground was cast into the air, covering the sun and chilling the atmosphere. Food and plants were difficult to find and because of this and many other factors, the entire population of dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the Earth.
However, avian ones remained (the proof is in the birds we have today) and mammals began evolving. Those events also prepared the ground for the arrival of humans. Still, scientists have wondered for years what were the chances for the dinosaurs to be killed by a rock in the sky. The answer is simple: very slim. So, only bad luck triggered this situation.
Dinosaurs were just extremely unlucky
According to a recent study which the journal Scientific Reports published, the chances of such an impact on Earth are one in 50 million to 100 million years. Dinosaurs roamed the planet for about 175 million years. So, the likelihood of such a devastating impact were very slim. Still, experts are saying that it wasn’t the impact per se that caused so much destruction, but the place where the asteroid fell.
Kunio Kaiho, the lead author of this study, says that only about 13% of the planet’s surface contained the right components to cause a mass extinction so large. The asteroid hit in one of those spots. This impact also triggered the massive climate change that eventually led to the destruction of the dinosaurs.
However, geophysicist Sean Gulick doesn’t completely agree with this theory. He says that there were many factors that have contributed to the mass extinction. Whatever the cause, one thing is sure: the dinosaurs were very unlucky.
Image source: nasa.gov