Until not long ago, many ancient legends were regarded as punishments by gods, and few scientists took them seriously. However, it is now believed that these ancient legends may be important evidence for certain events that have played a key role in the history of the earth. These historical events are exactly as devastating as the legend describes: forces from the universe have had many serious effects on life. Space rock Po Kong, bringing floods, fires, haze for several months, the temperature plunged, extinction ……
from ancient Babylon manuscripts, medieval chronicler language and then to the new era, swept all talked about the Earth Devastating disaster. Many of them described global floods, which ravaged all continents and destroyed entire civilizations. Others describe fires falling from the sky, thick smoke and debris blocking the sun for months.
The “Epic of Gilgamesh”, written more than 4,000 years ago, described the seven judges of the earth raising torches, which plunged the earth into blazing flames and dark storms. In the Anglo-Saxon era more than 2,000 years ago, the priest Gildas wrote that around 441 BC, “a fire fell from the sky” and the world changed color. The land remained in ruins until a century later.
For a long time, the above-mentioned legends have been regarded as punishments by gods, and stories fabricated by religious leaders to discipline believers. Few scientists take them seriously, only that they are left over from the age of superstition. Now, researchers believe that these ancient narratives may be important evidence for events that have played a key role in the history of the earth. These historical events are exactly as devastating as the legend describes: forces from the universe have had a serious impact on life many times-and will do so in the future.
In 1687, after the publication of Newton’s laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation, Edmund Halley used these laws to explore the mysteries of comets. By studying the appearance of comets, Halley proposed the comets that appeared in 1456, 1531, 1607, and 1682. In fact, it is the same one. It orbits the sun in a huge elliptical orbit, which is consistent with Newton’s law. At the same time, Halley also pointed out another point: a comet whose orbit intersects the orbit of the earth will eventually hit the earth, causing devastating consequences. In December 1694, Halley said in a lecture at the Royal Society of London that the great flood recorded in the Bible was formed under the impact of a comet. He even suggested that geographical structures such as the Caspian Sea were also caused by such disasters. But a few days later, obviously due to the pressure of the church, he gave up this view. The church regards disasters such as the Great Flood as proof of God’s divine power and does not wish to explain them with science. Even so, Halley’s speech was still a turning point because he revealed for the first time that the earth is very fragile in the face of cosmic forces.
Falling into the sea
in the next century, researchers have been trying to provide a scientific explanation for the “Bible” disaster described. Cambridge mathematician William Whiston claimed that analysis of the orbit of the comet showed that the Great Flood occurred in 2349 BC.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the outstanding French zoologist George Cuvier seemed to have found conclusive evidence of the Flood. By studying the stratum near Paris, he found that in an ancient chalk stratum, fossils of marine life were covered by fossils of terrestrial organisms, and the upper layer suddenly contained marine life, and the top layer showed that today’s Paris There was a huge and rapid flood nearby. Cuvier believes that the sudden change of fossils can prove that there have been some sudden disasters that caused the destruction of life on earth, and the great flood is only the most recent disaster.
After Cuvier’s discovery was published in 1812, it was supported by many famous scientists including the geographer James Hall, and the catastrophe theory was born. Many researchers believe that the sudden flood may be caused by a huge meteorite falling into the sea.
Some researchers believe that in 536 AD, a celestial body with a diameter of 300 meters fell into the Gulf of Carpentaria (now northern Australia). If a celestial body of this size hits the earth at a speed of 80,000 kilometers per hour, it will release the energy equivalent to 1,000 atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima. Dust and gas from the impact enter the atmosphere and block sunlight, causing the earth’s temperature to drop. In fact, the history books record the gloomy skies, cold summers and agricultural failures in 536 and 537. Historians of the Byzantine Empire described the year 536 in this way: “The most terrible sign appeared. The sun was shining but no longer bright.” According to records, China fell into a severe cold that summer. Since the meteorite fell into the sea, the damage caused by the impact has been reduced. If a celestial body hits the land, it will arouse more dust and debris, and the temperature of the earth will drop even more. At the same time, the shock wave and high temperature at the impact point will produce saltpeter and nitric acid, which will bring corrosive acid rain. If the celestial body that fell into the Gulf of Carpentaria falls in any of today’s mega cities, then most of the city will be razed to the ground, and the impact on the atmosphere will cause food shortages worldwide.
Some researchers believe that about 4,800 years ago, a celestial body with a diameter of 3 to 5 kilometers fell into the Indian Ocean near Madagascar and caused a huge tsunami. The wave reached 180 meters, which was many times the size of the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami. Ancient books such as “Genesis” and “Epic of Gilgamesh” recorded the great floods that broke out almost simultaneously all over the world that year, which confirmed the researchers’ conjecture. If that sky manifests itself as falling into the sea, many coastal cities in the world will disappear; if it hits the land at a high speed, it may even cause the crust to rupture and magma eruption; huge circular hills may form around the impact point: the ground cracks caused by the impact will cause Buildings in a large area around it were razed to the ground; the dust it aroused would obscure the sky, and years of severe cold and famine would ensue.
in the 1930s, it was first discovered asteroid with the Earth’s orbit intersects the orbit. Therefore, some scientists have proposed that such asteroids would accidentally collide with the Earth, causing catastrophic consequences. This impact can explain the puzzling faults in the fossil record—faults that mean there may have been several mass extinctions in the past hundreds of millions of years.
In the mid-1950s, some scientists suggested that the impact of a meteorite 65 million years ago might have caused the extinction of the most successful species on Earth, the dinosaur that ruled the earth for 100 million years. The research team headed by the Nobel Prize winner and American physicist Lewis Alvarez has been studying the fossil record of the extinction of dinosaurs. They found that the content of iridium in clay samples from the extinction period of dinosaurs was very high. It is a relatively common ingredient in meteorites.
Such a high iridium content is of great significance, which means that the earth may have been hit by a huge meteorite with a diameter of 5 to 10 kilometers. This situation will trigger a global fire, and thick smoke and dust will block the sun for several months, leading to the destruction of the food chain.
Can this explain the extinction of dinosaurs? Many scientists have expressed fierce opposition to the above theory. Critics countered that iridium may also have been produced by a large-scale volcanic eruption during the same period. In 1988, a research team composed of scientists from various countries found that in many parts of the world, the bottom layer containing iridium was covered with a layer of coal ash, which was obviously caused by a global fire. In addition, scientists have found evidence that a tsunami occurred in the Gulf of Mexico 65 million years ago. In 1990, American geophysicists discovered that there is a huge ring structure buried in the coast of Mexico. This ring pit has a diameter of 180 kilometers. Regardless of its size or location, it can explain all other anomalies-and its formation is also 6 5 million years ago.
Faced with such strong evidence, most scientists have now admitted that a huge meteor did collide with the earth 65 million years ago and caused a global disaster.
According to the fossil record, there have been at least 5 mass extinctions in the world. The largest one occurred 250 million years ago. It caused the earth to lose 70% of terrestrial animals and 95% of marine life. About 12,000 years ago, many large North American animals such as mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and mastodons gradually became extinct. The research team announced not long ago that they found evidence that one or two space rocks with a diameter of several kilometers exploded over Canada 12,900 years ago. They believe that the explosion caused a large area of fire and dust clouds, severely damaged the climate pattern, and caused the earth to cool down for a long time. Species such as mammoths were either killed by bombings or starved to death because of food supply disruptions.
geographers have statistics on the number of craters, determined that “Deep Impact” are rare, and mainly occur in the distant era of chaos. However, this inference is based on the number of craters on land, and 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. Wouldn’t most celestial bodies fall into the sea? Therefore, researchers began to look for pits caused by impact underwater. In less than 10 years, researchers found 14 large craters under water. The finding of so many craters in such a short period of time surprised researchers. Evidence shows that several huge asteroids and comets have hit the earth in a relatively recent period from a geological point of view.
Other scientists have also made some disturbing discoveries. Astronomers only started searching for “space rocks”-asteroids and comets in near-Earth space decades ago. Data shows that there are more space rocks in near-Earth space than we thought, and their orbits are not as stable as we thought. We also have reason to believe that space rocks may be completely destroyed without hitting the surface of the earth. The solar system seems much more dangerous than we thought.
On March 18, 2004, the 30-meter-diameter asteroid “2004 FH” passed by the Earth not far from the orbit of the communications satellite. In 1992, American researchers discovered the “Keper Belt” composed of asteroids and comets, extending from the vicinity of Neptune’s orbit. Humans have discovered at least 1,000 stars that can be seen from the earth in the “Keper Belt”. These stars are more than 100 kilometers in diameter, much larger than the meteorites that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Space rocks of this size are called “planet killers” because their impact may end all life on Earth.
In space farther than the “Keper Belt”, there may also be an “Oort Nebula” composed of trillions of comets. If the “Oort Nebula” really exists, then the number of existing comets will be much greater than we once thought.
Ten years ago, humans had known 244 near-Earth space rocks with a diameter of more than 1 kilometer, but now it has increased to 741. Among the recently discovered near-Earth space objects, 186 have been identified by NASA as having “impact risk.” In fact, the number of celestial bodies that may hit the earth is obviously much higher. Based on recent findings, NASA inferred that there may be 20,000 asteroids and comets that pose a potential threat to the Earth.
Right now, astronomers are nervously tracking an asteroid named “99942 Apophis”. This asteroid may hit the Earth in 2036. According to the standards of asteroids, “Apophis” may be only 300 meters in diameter, but its impact on the Earth can reach 60,000 times that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, which is enough to destroy an area the size of France. In other words, asteroids may be more dangerous than we think, even if they do not reach the surface of the earth, they may cause serious damage.