A group of 41 scientists got together (they invited 40, one asshole invited himself) to review the 20 years of research, and they decided definitively that an asteroid 9 miles wide destroyed all of the dinosaurs.
“We now have great confidence that an asteroid was the cause of the… extinction. This triggered large-scale fires, earthquakes measuring more than 10 on the Richter scale, and continental landslides, which created tsunamis,” said Joanna Morgan of Imperial College London, a co-author of the review.
The asteroid is thought to have hit Earth with a force a billion times more powerful than the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.
Morgan said the “final nail in the coffin for the dinosaurs” came when blasted material flew into the atmosphere, shrouding the planet in darkness, causing a global winter and “killing off many species that couldn’t adapt to this hellish environment.”
Apparently the debate had been whether or not it was an asteroid or volcanic activity that wiped them all out, and I didn’t even know we’d narrowed it down that far. Not to betray my age (it’s 30), but when I was young, we as a people had no idea what happened to the dinosaurs. I was obsessed with dinosaurs as a kid, because everyone was, and I remember thinking that I had to figure out what happened to them. I decided to make it my passion. What this meant was that I read all the kids’ books about dinosaurs I could find and then went to dance class and forgot about it.
But I’m glad to know the frenzy I started so many years ago has finally paid off.