Researchers believe that a massive comet crashed into the Earth 13,000 years ago, triggering firestorms around the world and leading into a mini ice age.
The firestorms created dust clouds that blocked the sun and significantly reduced the Earth's temperature, plunging the planet to what is now known as the Younger Dryas period.
Massive Comet Crashed To Earth 13,000 Years Ago
An international team of scientists hypothesized that toward the end of the ice age 13,000 years ago, fragments of a comet that were over 60 miles wide struck the planet, creating firestorms that covered about 10 percent of the planet's land surface.
The researchers arrived at the conclusion after analyzing rock samples from over 170 locations around the world.
"The hypothesis is that a large comet fragmented and the chunks impacted the Earth, causing this disaster," said University of Kansas emeritus astrophysics professor Adrian Melott, who is an author of the study on the matter that was published on The Journal of Geology.
Melott added that by studying various chemical signatures of carbon dioxide, ammonia, nitrate, and other substances, researchers concluded that about 10 percent of the Earth's surface, or around 10 million square kilometers, were set ablaze from the incident.
The dust from the firestorms eventually resulted in dust covering the sky, blocking off sunlight. Plants were killed off and food sources became limited, as oceans shifted and glaciers moved forward. The Earth was then plunged into about a thousand years with conditions similar to an ice age.
Melott and his colleagues believe that the period, named Younger Dryas and one of the most popular examples of abrupt climate change, was triggered by the comet crash. The team also believes that the event caused the extinction of several species from the late Pleistocene era and affected humans through a population decline and cultural shifts.
The wildfires and resulting ice age caused by the comet crash were supposedly even worse than what was caused by the asteroid crash that killed the dinosaurs. The bad news is that Earth may enter its next mini ice age very soon, as early as within the next 30 years.
Ancient Comet Crash Recorded In Stone Carvings
Amazingly, the comet crash from 13,000 years ago was reportedly recorded in ancient stone carvings that were discovered in Turkey.
Mysterious symbols at the Vulture Stone in the Gobekli Tepe temple, believed to be the oldest one in the world and likely an ancient observatory, told the story of comet fragments that hit the Earth 13,000 years ago.
The symbols supposedly depicted how the comet crash caused the Younger Dryas, but there was no strong evidence on the fact. Melott and his colleagues, however, now have it, supposedly confirming the ancient story told in the ancient Turkish temple.