Researchers Discover Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Also Created Mile-High Tsunami

by Shelby Scott
Artwork of an asteroid hitting earth. Getty Images.

It’s common knowledge that the dinosaurs were wiped out ages ago thanks to a massive asteroid that struck the Earth. However, eons later, researchers have discovered that the huge asteroid also created a mile-high tsunami. So if the dinosaurs didn’t die as a direct result of the asteroid, then it’s possible they could have drowned.

According to the New York Post, the asteroid believed that wiped out the dinosaurs was a massive one—nine miles in diameter. After the asteroid struck, a massive tsunami traveled across the globe, helping put an end to the dinosaurs’ reign.

Researchers from the University of Michigan studied the asteroid’s impact site at Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. They then compared it with impact sites across the globe to determine how far the tsunami’s waves stretched. And what they found is absolutely unimaginable.

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

The outlet provided context, giving us an idea of just how massive the tsunami was, which was caused by the nine-mile asteroid. Recalling the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake-tsunami that claimed 230,000 lives, scientists stated the tsunami from the asteroid was 30,000 times larger.

The Asteroid That Killed the Dinosaurs Sent Waves Crashing Globally

According to the new study, the asteroid’s site of impact on the Yucatan Peninsula sent nearby waters radiating “mainly to the east and northeast into the North Atlantic Ocean.” Other waves flowed southwest into what was formerly the Central American Seaway—now Central America. The tsunami then pushed into the South Pacific Ocean.

Per researchers’ findings, the other side of the globe was mostly protected from the worst of the tsunami. Nevertheless, it still felt its impact. But the study doesn’t only tell us more about the tsunami that helped wipe out the dinosaurs.

Researchers have stated that the massive asteroid that struck earth millions of years ago had been traveling at an unimaginable 27,000 miles per hour. Its impact created a 62-mile wide crater and sent “dense clouds of soot and dust” skyrocketing into the atmosphere.

The following is a timeline of events that took place after the asteroid struck Earth:

  • Within 2 minutes of impact, a massive wall of water shot 3 miles high. The wall of water then made landfall as a “catastrophic” wave.
  • After 10 minutes, the tsunami traveled 137 miles away from the asteroid’s original point of impact, promising the total decimation of the dinosaurs.
  • After a single hour, the tsunami reached the North Atlantic.
  • The 4-hour mark saw the devastating waves crashing through the Central American Seaway.
  • The tsunami then struck the Indian Ocean from two sides. Currents entered from the east through the Pacific Ocean and from the west through the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 48 hours later, nearly every coastal region across the planet had been struck by “significant tsunami waves.”