Great Flood Theory (12:13)
The Bible, the “Epic of Gilgamesh” and dozens of other ancient myths and texts have depicted a great flood that wiped out most of humanity. Bruce Masse, Dallas Abbott and other members of the Holocene Impact Working Group believe such a flood likely happened, and that it was caused by an oceanic comet strike.
Mini Ice Age (07:44)
The sun seemed to dim in the year 535 CE as something descended like a vail over the planet, heralding the most severe cooling period of the last 2,000 years. The prevailing theory has been that this was due to ash from a massive volcanic eruption. Abbott has proposed another culprit: a comet strike near what is now Australia.
Younger Dryas (08:35)
The Hubble Telescope documented the fragmentation of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 before it struck Jupiter in 2009, demonstrating how Abbott’s dual impact scenario could have played out. Another mini ice age that plagued the Clovis people, a prehistoric Paleo-Indian culture that lived on the North American continent 13,000 years ago, may also have been caused by a comet impact.
Recent Cosmic Events (06:38)
Comets and meteorites have sometimes caused devastation without reaching Earth’s surface thanks to air bursts, shockwaves that occur when cosmic projectiles explode in the atmosphere. The Clovis comet and the Tanguska event, an explosion that leveled 2,000 square kilometers of Siberian forest in 1908, may have been examples of this phenomenon.
Did a Meteor Inspire Constantine? (07:33)
The Roman Empire was embroiled in a bitter civil war in 312 CE when Emperor Constantine the Great saw a fiery cross in the sky. The event inspired the emperor’s conversion to Christianity, which helped popularize the young religion’s spread. Scientists have speculated that the “vision” was inspired by a meteor entering Earth’s atmosphere.
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