Mar 13, 2017 03:45 AM EDT
Massive beasts like mammoth, mastodon and saber-toothed tiger suddenly vanished around 10,000 BC together with Clovis people at the end of the last ice age - nobody knows why. A Recent discovery of platinum in large quantity across US archeological sites stir a possible explanation to this mystery. Platinum is an element that has a strong connection with cosmic matters like asteroids.
Science has long accepted the idea that there was a sudden drop in temperature 12,800 years ago that spanned for the next 1,400 years. This event is called the Younger-Dryas period which coincides with the extinction of Clovis people and the age of massive beasts. However, it baffles scientists because no one can conclude the trigger behind Younger-Dryas.
Since Harvard University found a large deposit of platinum in an ice core from Greenland in 2013, scientists began linking it with Younger-Dryas. The theory of an extraterrestrial impact is now gaining a foothold after soil layers in Arizona, California, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia revealed platinum in soils.
Lead author Christopher Moore discussed in a research published in Scientific Reports that widespread platinum is an anomaly. He said that they expect this anomaly to serve as a time marker to date and correlate archaeological, paleontological and paleoenvironmental data. What could benefit from this discovery are those with limited age control and can't really put their findings in an archaeological timeline.
Science Daily reported that Moore stressed the connection between an asteroid impact and extinction of the Clovis people together with 35 species of massive ice-age animals. Ironically, a similar event happened 65 million years ago and caused the extinction of dinosaurs. The second cosmic impact is known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary period.
To recall, there is also a well-studied phenomenon where scientists found another cosmic matter iridium. Moore explained that both platinum and iridium cases resulted to the atmospheric fallout of rare elements. About the issue of missing impact crater, Moore suggests that the large cosmic object might have struck an ice-sheet or have exploded in the atmosphere.
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