Answers from an asteroid

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

an asteroid that splashed into the Southern Ocean about 1,500 km southwest off the Chilean coast two million years ago has solved several mysteries of nature: why the fossils of land and sea mammals in deposits in Peru are all jumbled up, and why the fossils of the deep-sea diatoms are found high up in the ice-free Trans-Antarctic mountains. The impact, discovered in the 1960s by the oceanographic vessel Eltanin, would have blasted sediment high into the atmosphere, explaining why the fossils of microscopic deep-sea diatoms can be found high on the Trans-Antarctic mountains. It would also have sent massive tsunamis to South Pacific and Southern Ocean coasts, thus mixing up the Peru fossils.

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