3 Mysteries about Earth

For hundreds of years, scientists have been looking towards space to try and find answers about other planets. Whether it is through attempts to analyze the composition of other planets or trying to pinpoint how they were created, some answers have been found. Another recent trend is an attempt to find a planet very similar to Earth somewhere in the out reaches of space. Ironically, while scientists have been searching for answers about Earth-like planet, there are still questions that remained unanswered about the Earth. More specifically, there have been three events that scientists still struggle to explain today: the Tunguska event, the supposed Clovis Comet and the cause of a dramatic poll shifts in Earths distant past.

The Tunguska Event was a very large, unexplained explosion that occurred on June 30, 1908 in Siberia, Russia. The explosion took place three to six miles above the Earth’s surface and had a recorded blast range of 10-15 megatons of TNT, which translates to a blast 1,000 times more powerful than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Eyewitnesses described a blue light, followed by a bright flash and loud sound similar to artillery fire. The great fireball that ensued was so powerful that the shock wave was felt extensively though Eurasia. This event remains to be one of the most powerful and least understood explosions in our planet’s recorded history. A host of theories have been developed to try and explain for the Tunguska Event. Some of the explanations are admittedly farfetched– some tried to attribute the event to an alien spacecraft crash or a black hole entering the atmosphere–but others are based on proven science. The most accepted theory of the Tunguska Event attributes the devastating explosion to a meteoroid. While meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere daily, it has now been discovered that a great deal of them actually explode before reaching the Earth’s surface. This occurrence, which is known as a meteoroid airburst, usually takes places in the upper atmosphere, but in rare cases, such as the Tunguska Event, can occur closer to the ground. Scientists are not certain that their meteoroid airburst theory is correct, because competing comet and natural H-bomb theories have scientific footing as well. All that is known for sure is that the Tunguska Event can be categorized as one of Earth’s greatest mysteries.

Another one of Earth’s most debated mysteries is the Clovis comet that supposedly hit North America around 13,000 years ago. Scientists argue that the Clovis comet was responsible for the mass extinction of many North American species such as the mammoth, dire wolf and saber tooth tiger, along with the elimination of the Clovis civilization, which was one of North America’s first new world civilizations. It is argued that the Clovis comet hit somewhere near the Great Lakes region and caused vegetation destroying fires and sun blocking dust clouds. Support for this theory was made with the discovery of unusual levels of spherical magnetic particles, nanodiamonds and iridium content, which all indicate the presence of meteorites and the presence of charcoal that would support the wildfire theory. A 2010 study has made great strides to disprove this theory however. Scientists have explained for the presence of these particles through various means. It is believed that magnetic spherules were concentrated because of rainwater and it has been discovered that nanodiamonds are constantly finding their way to the Earth’s surface. Likewise, the presence of charcoal was only found around Clovis civilization dwellings, meaning that they were from controlled cooking fires and not the result of a cataclysmic event. With little proven evidence for the Clovis comet, scientists are left to wonder what exactly wiped out so many species in such a relatively short amount of time. Theories about disease carrying animals from the Bering Strait and human hunting to extinction also exist, but they also fail to explain for the mass extinctions 13,000 years ago. Science has disproved the Clovis Comet, but by doing so, has also greatly added to the value of this mystery.

The last of the three mysteries of Earth has to do with a dramatic climate shift that occurred tens of thousands of years ago. For scientists, an unlikely character, the woolly mammoth, plays a great role in the polar shift debate. There have been multiple documented cases of mammoth’s being found completely preserved in ice, with plants still undigested in their mouths and stomachs. In cases where an animal is preserved like this, scientists are shown that the animal experience a quick and sudden death, unprepared for the sub-zero weather that engulfed it. What makes things even stranger is that the plants found in the stomachs of mammoths are from tropical climates, a long distance away from the animal’s icy tomb. The only way to explain for this would be a dramatic polar shift that resulted in instant changes in weather. Science is currently struggling to try to explain how this could happen. Some scientists blame an outside cosmic event, but more recently a better explanation has been found. Many scientists argue that such a drastic shift in the planet’s temperature can only attributed to realigning of the planet’s poles caused by a shift in the planet’s electromagnetic field’s polarity. This remains a theory however, until more understanding can be gathered about the cause of electromagnetic field shifts.

These three events are only a peak into the many Earth mysteries that challenge scientists on a daily basis. This does not mean the cause is hopeless however; because as new theories arise and old ones get disproved, science continues to get closer to the truth. Hopefully, someday soon these three mysteries will be definitively solved.

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