JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 1543
Sunday, 04 January 2009 00:37

Nano-diamonds suggest comet collisions wrecked havoc on Earth

The discovery of numerous tiny diamonds spread out at six sites in North America suggest to scientists that they came from comets impacting the Earth about 13,000 years ago, possibly dooming the Clovis natives and many now-extinct animals.

Douglas J. Kennett, J.P. Kennett, A. West, C. Mercer, S.S. Que Hee, L. Bement, T.E. Bunch, M. Sellers, and W.S. Wolbach reported their findings in the Science article “Nanodiamonds in the Younger Dryas Boundary Sediment Layer.”

They discovered tiny diamonds, what they called “nanodiamonds,” in sediments at sites from Arizona to South Carolina, within the United States, and Alberta and Manitoba, within Canada.

The nanodiamonds were discovered at a depth that corresponded to being scattered about around 12,900 years ago (plus or minus 100 years).

The team, led by U.S. archeologist Doug Kennett of the Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene, states that the discovery of these prolific number of nanodiamonds suggest that they did not originate on Earth.

They claim this because of the extraordinary conditions that would have had to be met for them to be native to our planet.

Instead, the researchers suggest that many comets could have likely impacted the Earth during the beginning of the Younger Dryas interval.

These collisions produced, as they stated in the abstract to their paper, “multiple airbursts and possible surface impacts, with severe repercussions for plants, animals, and humans in North America.”

Page two explains the Younger Dryas period, along with additonal information on the nanodiamond discovery.

The Younger Dryas period, also sometimes commonly called “The Big Freeze,” was a 1,300-year-long interval of time (from 12,800 to 11,500 years ago) in which conditions were cold enough that many animals such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths began extinct in North America

It is reported in the Reuters article “Diamonds suggest comets caused killer cold spell” that “The Clovis culture of American Indians also appears to have fallen apart during this time.”

In fact, the researchers found that the layer where the diamonds were found included a “black mat” of “carbon-rich material” that separated the bones of animals and artifacts from the Clovis Indians found before that time-period but not after it.

Kennett explains, "The nanodiamonds that we found at all six locations exist only in sediments associated with the Younger Dryas Boundary layers, not above it or below it.” [Reuters]

The researchers state that the six sites in North America could have experienced one giant explosion or multiple smaller ones, which could have likely caused giant fires and extreme pressures.

Dr. Kennett explains, “These data support the hypothesis that a swarm of comets or carbonaceous chondrites (a type of meteorite) produced multiple air shocks and possible surface impacts at 12,900 (years ago).” [Reuters]

The Reuters article went on to explain, “The heat and pressure could have melted part of the Greenland ice sheet, causing currents to change and affecting climate. Any impacts would have kicked up dust that would have shrouded the sun and lowered temperatures, endangering plants and animals.”

Kennett concluded, "These discoveries provide strong evidence for a cosmic impact event at approximately 12,900 years ago that would have had enormous environmental consequences for plants, animals and humans across North America."

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here


The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.



Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News