Dinosaur mystery unravelled?

Scientists now believe that millions of years ago a massive asteroid hit the Earth on the west coast of modern India, triggering a cataclysmic explosion that sounded the death knell for the dinosaurs.

The impact led to the formation of a mysterious basin off the coast of India, which could be the largest, multi-ringed impact crater the world has ever seen. The cataclysmic impact may have been responsible for killing the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. A section of scientists believe in the Shiva crater theory. Indian dino hunter Sankar Chatterjee from Texas Tech University and a team of researchers have now taken a close look at the massive Shiva basin, a submerged depression west of India that is intensely mined for its oil and gas resources. Some complex craters are among the world’s most productive hydrocarbon sites. “If we are right, this is the largest crater known on our planet,” Chatterjee said. The crater’s diameter is estimated to be 40 km.

By contrast, the object that struck the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and is commonly thought to have killed the dinos was between 8 and 10 km wide. It’s hard to imagine such a cataclysm. But if Chatterjee’s team is right, the Shiva impact vaporised Earth’s crust at the point of collision, leaving nothing but ultra-hot mantle material to well up in its place.
It is likely that the impact enhanced the nearby Deccan Traps volcanic eruptions that covered much of western India. What’s more: the impact broke the Seychelles islands off of the Indian tectonic plate, and sent them drifting toward Africa.

The geological evidence is nothing less than dramatic.

Shiva’s outer rim forms a rough, faulted ring of 500 km in diameter, encircling the central peak, known as the Bombay High, which would be 3 miles tall from the ocean floor – the height of a mid-size mountain.

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