Diamonds for dinosaurs

Published: Monday 15 June 1992

DIAMONDS may be forever, but the dinosaurs of yore must have wished it otherwise. The glittering jewel is now being held responsible for their extinction.

Canadian scientist David Brez Carlisle feels that dinosaurs perished in a storm of diamonds from outer space. This adds a now dimension to the traditional asteroid theory about the disappearance of the dinosaurs. According to this theory, the huge lizards which roamed the earth for more than too million years died when a massive asteroid crashed into the earth.

Carlisle, in a paper published in Nuture, says diamonds, measuring in billionths of a metre across, found at a geological boundary 65 million years old, between the cretaceous and tertiary periods, are of extraterrestrial origin. That diamonds are found in space has already been confirmed by scientists in Chicago.

The asteroid associated with this theory would have hit the earth somewhere around Yucatan in Mexico moving at 40 km per second. Calculations say it weighed some 500 billion tonnes. The speed of the asteroid would have caused nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere to burn, producing nitric acid. The dinosaurs would have been pulverised, frozen, incinerated, gassed, drowned and poisoned. And all because of diamonds.

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