Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs made mile-high tsunami


Scientists have discovered that the near 9-mile diameter asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also triggered a “mile high” tsunami that spread across the globe, according to EurekAlert.

Researchers from the University of Michigan studied the asteroid’s impact site in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula — along with 100 other locations around the globe — and managed to recreate simulations of how far monstrous waters actually reached 66 million years ago.

“Any historically documented tsunamis pale in comparison with such global impact,” the authors wrote. “Depending on the geometries of the coast and the advancing waves, most coastal regions would be inundated and eroded to some extent.”

Compared to the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake tsunami of 2004 that took 230,000 lives, this prehistoric tidal wave “was up to 30,000 times larger,” according to the report — published in the journal AGU Advances.

“This tsunami was strong enough to disturb and erode sediments in ocean basins halfway around the globe, leaving either a gap in the sedimentary records or a jumble of older sediments,” lead author Molly Range said.

The research team found that the waters “radiated mainly to the east and northeast into the North Atlantic Ocean” while others flowed southwest into the non-existent Central American Seaway — now the landmass of Central America due to continental drift — before pouring into the South Pacific Ocean.

The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs is believed to have created a worldwide tsunami.
Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

The other side of the globe — particularly the South Atlantic, North Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean — were protected from the worst of the tsunami, according to the research.

Scientists used a “two stage strategy” to recount the ancient extinction level event. First, a computer simulation was made of the asteroid’s impact and crater formation followed by the globally chaotic 10 minutes that followed.

From this it was also discovered that the space rock had been hurtling at 27,000 mph and created a 62-mile wide crater which released “dense clouds of soot and dust into the atmosphere.”

A mere two minutes after impact, a massive wall of water shot up almost 3 miles high before making landfall as a catastrophic wave.

New research shows how the asteroid that wiped out prehistoric life created a monstrous tsunami as well.
New research shows how the asteroid that wiped out prehistoric life created a monstrous tsunami as well.
Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

By the 10-minute mark, the tsunami was already 137 miles from the Yucatan peninsula and on its track for worldwide destruction. It hit the North Atlantic an hour in, passed through the Central American Seaway four hours after, and reached the Indian Ocean on two sides after the currents crossed the Pacific Ocean from the east and the Atlantic from the west.

“Significant tsunami waves” hit almost every coastal region of Earth by hour 48.