Earth Facts – 20 Geologic Facts From Earth’s History That’ll Shake Your Beliefs

1Mass extinction

There were four mass extinction events before the one that killed the dinosaurs. The most severe killed a staggering 97% of all species. All life on Earth today is descended from the 3% that survived.


2Zealandia

The Earth has another continent called Zealandia. The entire continent sank after breaking away from Australia around 65-80 million years ago.


3Shanidar 1

A Neanderthal who is now named “Shanidar 1” was buried approximately 45,000 to 35,000 years ago. Despite several injuries and disabilities from early in his life that would have made it impossible to survive on his own, he lived to relatively old age (40 to 50) with the help of others.


4Prototaxites

400 million years ago, before trees took over, Earth was covered in 24-foot mushrooms called prototaxites.


5Y-Chromosomal Adam

Our genes show that we all share a male ancestor who is called Y-Chromosomal Adam. He lived approximately 208,300 years ago.


6Earth

More than 4 billion years ago, Earth was hit by several objects larger than 600 miles that could vaporize the oceans and sterilize the surface yet bacterial life survived deep underground and each time recolonized the planet.


7Natural nuclear reactor

About 1.7 billion years ago, there was a natural nuclear reactor that ran for a few hundred thousand years. The existence of this phenomenon was discovered in 1972 at Oklo in Gabon in Central Africa by French physicist Francis Perrin.


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8Laetoli footprints

The 3.6 million-year-old Laetoli footprints, one of the most important finds concerning human evolution and evidence of upright bipedal walking, was discovered by Paleoanthropologist Andrew Hill when he dove into the ground during the middle of an elephant dung fight with a colleague.


9Homo floresiensis

A mere 12,000 years ago a species (Homo floresiensis) closely related to modern humans had been living on an Indonesian island. They used fire and rather advanced tools, yet were only about 3 feet tall, weighing around 25kg.


10Rudists

During the late Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, the majority of the oceans reefs weren't built by corrals, but rather a group of bivalve clam like mollusks called Rudists.

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