A snapshot in time: Life on earth minutes after the asteroid hit



66 million years ago, an asteroid about 7.5 miles wide crashed into the earth, created a huge crater, and wiped out much of life on earth. This is in an area of Mexico that is now called Chicxulub, part of the Yucatan peninsula.

We know this happened, because iridium is very rare on earth, but not on asteroids and meteorites, and there’s a layer of rock underneath the earth’s surface that is rich in iridium. So it is thought that it was deposited there at the time of impact. The asteroid crashed into oil-rich rocks in the area, which helped to further the explosion that then tore apart the earth’s crust. The aftershocks then hurled up the matter in the air. This was cooled high up in the atmosphere, and made tiny beads of glass, called tektites.

This is what came splashing down like rain in different areas, including in Tanis, North Dakota and helped, along with all the rest of the upheaval, to destroy life on earth as the dinosaurs knew it. This one disaster completely changed the ecosystem on earth, and together with other forces, created an atmosphere that later allowed mammals a fighting chance. The rest, as they say, is history!

It was reported last week, that scientists have found and investigated a whole area in North Dakota, USA, called Tanis, which has pristinely preserved fossils from the moments right after the asteroid hit. They have published these findings in a scientific journal. These are fossils of entire creatures that breathed in the ash, glass and sediment that was raining down around them. It is the largest such find and has given scientists a whole lot of material to study and understand about the world that existed before humans made this our playground.

This is what the lead author on this study had to say about the find: “Essentially, what we’ve got there is the geologic equivalent of high-speed film of the very first moments after the impact.”

Written by: Sunaina Murthy. Sunaina is a biotechnologist, writer, greedy reader, and amateur photographer.

Spread the love
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Write to us at

Help us keep currentkids, current! We’d love to hear about your crazy adventures and experiences. Send us your pictures, travel diaries, thoughts on cool new gadgets, gaming experiences and anything else you find interesting!

About Us

Welcome to our entertaining and empowering news source for kids with inquisitive minds! This is a digital space that keeps kids aged 8 and above (and your families!) connected to what’s happening in the world. We filter a wide variety of news, events, and interesting bits of trivia to develop short, relevant, unbiased content in creative formats. We give everyone something to relate to and get engaged with in short bytes of information with a snappy, chatty feel. We believe in encouraging curiosity, creativity and continued learning in our safe digital space.

Why is reading non-fiction important?

This helps curious minds to learn more about the outside world. It also enriches their vocabulary and their general knowledge. Simplified news helps children to express their opinions easily with their friends and family and gives them some perspective on complex issues. Our safe news website will give you parents a useful tool with which to navigate the digital world with your children.

We hope you enjoy our posts!

Biyash & Sunaina