Scientists Give New Data on Asteroid That Wiped Dinosaurs

by Sankalan Baidya
Asteroid That Wiped Dinosaurs

Asteroid that wiped dinosaurs – this phrase immediately refers to the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event that ended the rule of dinosaurs on this planet. The asteroid in question was a massive one. Scientists believe that the asteroid was 6-mile wide. That rock from space crashed on earth in an area that we today know as Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The ground zero for the impact was Gulf of Mexico. The impact was catastrophic and changed history forever. The 165 million years of undisputed rule of dinosaurs came to a halt and our Earth ushered into a new era.

Unfortunately, scientists couldn’t tell for sure the extent of impact that ground zero experienced when the space rock slammed on earth’s surface. The reason for this lack of knowledge was not the limitation of scientific knowhow. It was rather caused by capitalism. Gulf of Mexico is known for its oil resources and the oil industry was totally reluctant to reveal any data that they found from the seismic tests they ran or from the deep drilling operations they conducted.

Initial Discovery of Impact Site of Asteroid that Wiped Dinosaurs

The impact site of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs from the face of earth came in 1991. The discoverer was David Kring from Houston’s Lunar and Planetary Institute. After discovery, Kring named the crater as Chicxulub crater. Back then the story about massive amounts of protected scientific data surfaced in a paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. Kring was absolutely sure that some vital information about the impact was to be found in the enormous amounts of drilling data that was suppressed by the oil companies operating in Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, he could do nothing about it because of the capitalist control. It was all business and the oil companies thought that declassifying such important data will jeopardize their operations.

Drilling Data of Impact Site of Asteroid that Wiped Dinosaurs Declassified

More than two decades later after the discovery of the impact crater, the data finally surfaced. The credit for this goes to exploration geologist (working for Chevron) named Jason Sanford. Sanford led a team of researchers and eventually managed to obtain drilling data obtained from 408 wells. All these wells were dug to the depth of 35,000 feet from the sea floor. Thus, they were 5o,000 feet deep below the sea level. Sanford also managed to get seismic data for the same area.

Once the data reached the hands of the researchers, some very interesting information surfaced. Here is what the researchers deciphered from the data:

  1. The area starting from Yucatan and reaching up to the Caribbean was covered by debris with a thickness of several under feet. The entire area was blanketed by a sediment of 48,000 cubic miles of sediment.
  2. This sediment cover happened in just a matter of few days and the layout of the floor of Gulf of Mexico changed completely within those days.
  3. At ground zero, i.e. at the point where the space rock slammed on earth, several hundred feet of boulders, gravel and sand were found. All these debris reached at that particular point several things like falling debris, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides. In fact, so catastrophic was the impact that the debris at ground zero actually came from as far as modern day Florida and Texas.
  4. The data helped the researchers to estimate the total amount of energy that was released by the impact. They calculated it to be equivalent to 100 terratons of TNT. To put in perspective, consider multiplying the energy of the Hiroshima Atom Bomb by 1 billion.

So, the impact was truly catastrophic. What really followed after the asteroid hit the ground is something that we may never understand and experience but 65 million years ago, that day and the days that followed should have been, for the dinosaurs, worse than the worst nightmare we humans can imagine.

Just for information, oil profits remain unaltered even after the data was released. Capitalism wins but it should more often let in good science to make incredible discoveries that can give answers to millions of unanswered questions that haunt us even today.

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1 comment

Brian March 4, 2016 - 7:27 pm

What’s with the fixation against capitalism? If it weren’t for the “capitalists” you wouldn’t have had the investment in research to gather the data. If science, untethered from capitalism, is so great. Then why didn’t scientists just gather their own data? Stay focused on the science and off the political propaganda.


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