Comet 13,000 years ago killed Indians, changed climate





Scientists will outline dramatic evidence this week that suggests a comet exploded over the Earth nearly 13,000 years ago, creating a hail of fireballs that set fire to most of the northern hemisphere.

Primitive Stone Age cultures were destroyed and populations of mammoths and other large land animals, such as the mastodon, were wiped out. The blast also caused a major bout of climatic cooling that lasted 1,000 years and seriously disrupted the development of the early human civilisations that were emerging in Europe and Asia.

'This comet set off a shock wave that changed Earth profoundly,' said Arizona geophysicist Allen West...

The theory is to be outlined at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Acapulco, Mexico. A group of US scientists that include West will report that they have found a layer of microscopic diamonds at 26 different sites in Europe, Canada and America. These are the remains of a giant carbon-rich comet that crashed in pieces on our planet 12,900 years ago, they say...

The scientists point out that archaeological evidence shows that early Stone Age cultures clearly suffered serious setbacks at this time...Their disappearance at this time has been a cause of intense debate, with climate change being put forward as a key explanation. Now there is a new idea: the first Americans were killed by a comet.

It was not just America that bore the brunt of the comet crash...The disintegrating comet would have plunged into these ice sheets, causing widespread melting...

The comet theory, backed by observational evidence collected by the team, has excited considerable attention from other researchers, following publication of an outline report of the work in Nature.


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