About 12,900 years ago, one or more comets collided with the Earth, leading to a sharp cooling of the planet that lasted for a millennium. This caused the death of dozens of species of large mammals, including the woolly mammoth.
But scientists doubt that it is the comet that is to blame. Two new studies refute two separate lines of evidence used in the theory of impact during the Late Dryas.
Scientists claim that microscopic diamonds, previously identified as a “shock layer” in geological records, were incorrectly identified and in fact represent a different type of crystalline structure of carbon. The second point concerns the river sediments in the rocks, used as an argument in favor of a major fire after impact. The researchers found that charred material could appear from ordinary earth fire, and not an extraterrestrial and catastrophic event.
These arguments create a giant hole in the theory of the comet's fall, which allegedly caused a wave of extinction of large animals around the world.
It is difficult to ignore the theory that people are to blame for the death of the woolly mammoth
Scientists know that in some parts of the worlds it suddenly became cold during the Late Dryas, a geological period that lasted about 1200 years. The glaciers changed course and began to move forward. For several decades, temperatures in Europe and Greenland fell by several degrees. The fall of the comet could lead to such changes. The theory says that when it hit the air, there was enough ash and dust to prevent some of the solar energy from entering Earth. In 2009, an article appeared in which they talked about the discovery of nanodiamonds, which could not have occurred under normal conditions.
The physicist Tyrone Donton, who studies star dust nanodiamonds, was drawn into the discussion. At first, he said that there was no evidence in the article that confirmed the presence of diamonds. Now he has conducted his own analysis and says that the researchers did not find nanodiamonds, but graphene and graphene crystals.
This is not the first blow to the theory of the comet's fall. At the end of the ice age, large animal species became extinct mysteriously. But it seems that these extinctions did not occur through the fault of a large-scale cataclysm.
In fact, more and more scientists come to the conclusion that human activity is to blame, because animals died out in those areas where a person appeared. It is likely that climate change was the first blow for animals, but the final point in their existence was put by humans.