12,800 years ago, an asteroid could have hit Earth

New evidence of an asteroid or meteorite collision that could have occurred on Earth 12,800 years ago was found by a team from the Institute of Evolutionary Research at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

Researchers led by Francis Tackeray discovered a significant “peak” of platinum in one of the deposits in the province of Limpopo (South Africa). This peak is observed in a peat deposit, in a sample estimated to be 12,800 years old.

The study, published in Palaeontologia Africana, takes into account the idea of asteroid impact that will take place in an era called the recent Dryas era, which will lead to global consequences, especially climate change, which caused the extinction of several species.

Platinum may, in fact, be linked to meteorites or asteroids, which are notoriously known for their wealth of this element, as stated by Tekkerei himself, who suggests that this is certainly not conclusive evidence, but additional evidence that confirms the hypothesis of the impact of recent droughts.

In any case, platinum peaks such as in South Africa have already been found in the past in Greenland, Eurasia, Mexico in North America and recently in the Pylauco region of Chile. These abnormal amounts of platinum would have fallen to the soil of half the world after the asteroid fell and scattered in the atmosphere.

This hypothetical impact should have led to a near-global extinction of species, which has occurred in regions such as North America, South America and Europe, as well as Africa. Among the animals that died out in those years were some giant mammals, including African buffalo, larger zebras and wildlife than we know today.

In addition, this global climate change is also affecting populations. In North America, for example, researchers have noticed an unusual interruption in the production of stone artefacts, especially in the case of Clovis’ culture. And in South Africa, archaeologists have discovered a similar phenomenon, dating back to the same period, affecting the different cultures of the area, which now belongs to southern South Africa.

In fact, a significant impact could have a strong impact on the environment of human communities, especially with regard to the availability of food resources. According to Tekkerei, the asteroid could have affected an area of northern Greenland. A crater with a diameter of 31 km was found under the ice in the area.



Kelly Owen

Kelly majored in English Literature and is responsible for assisting in proofreading, editing and research, as well as for web design and the maintenance of this website. Beyond her outstanding writing skills, she has like the rest of us a passion for science and science reporting. She is an avid reader of many scientific journals and magazines, especially Scientific American. In her spare time she also enjoys reading fiction and hopes to complete her own novel in 2020.
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Kelly Owen