TECH

Giant Asteroids That Hit Earth 3.3 Billion Years Ago Made Oceans Boil And Created Hell On Earth

29/05/2015 11:48 BST | Updated 29/05/2015 11:59 BST

Giant asteroids that hit the Earth around 3.3 billion years ago turned our planet into an apocalyptic oven which reached 500 degrees Celsius and made the oceans boil, literally.

asteroid impact

In a study published in the journal Geology, researchers found that asteroids, some that were probably as big as Guernsey, repeatedly impacted our planet which caused the air temperature to rise and the sea levels to drop by 330 feet.

This had a major impact on living organisms but surprisingly some life survived.

A team of scientists lead by Donald Lowe from Stanford University and Gary Byerly from Louisiana State University analysed South African rocks that reportedly show eight impact layers.

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Within these layers the researchers saw evidence of how the earth's ocean boiled away after the asteroid thought to be around 12 to 62 miles wide hit.

Once the ocean evaporated the concentration of shallow seawater lead to a precipitation of silica.

After the impact, the temperature stay at 500 degrees for a few weeks and then cooled down to 100 degrees for a year according to Ars Technica.

“These impacts would have a profound influence on any life trying to evolve into more complex, low-temperature organisms,” Lowe told Science News.

What is certain is that the microorganisms that survived this hell on earth were clearly heat resistant.