Huge Volcano Poisoned Almost Everything On Earth, Claims Study (Representative Image) (Photo Credit: Pixabay.com )
Earth is no stranger to close encounters with asteroids (space rocks). Asteroids can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. The space rocks approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. It is worth mentioning here that a car-sized asteroid (space rock) slams into the Earth's atmosphere about once in a year. On the other hand, an asteroid large enough to threaten the existence of life on Earth arrives once in every few million years. Over 66 million years ago, a gigantic asteroid (space rock) collided with Earth that led the extinction of dinosaurs. The asteroid had struck the Yucatan Peninsula in eastern Mexico, leaving behind a crater 100 miles wide and 20 miles deep. According to a report of bgr.com, the researchers have come up with a new study that suggests a devastating event took place before the asteroid impact. This means that many organisms have had struggled to survive.
The new research, which is published in Nature Communications, throws light on the evidence for a series of large-scale volcanic eruptions across India’s Deccan Traps. The researchers believe the volcanic eruptions may have spewed a large amount of toxic material into the atmosphere that may have poisoned plants and animals for at least a million years.
The researchers also examined samples and chemical readings of the material, revealing that high concentrations of mercury were present in ancient shells from shortly before the asteroid impact and extending for many years.
Lead author Kyle Meyer said, “For the first time, we can provide insights into the distinct climatic and environmental impacts of Deccan Traps volcanism by analyzing a single material.”
“It was incredibly surprising to see that the exact same samples where marine temperatures showed an abrupt warming signal also exhibited the highest mercury concentrations, and that these concentrations were of similar magnitude to a site of significant modern industrial mercury contamination,” bgr.com quoted Kyle Meyer as saying.