Asteroid That Wiped Out Dinosaurs Caused Mile-High Tsunami

The asteroid created a crater a mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico.

The asteroid that collided with Earth causing the extinction of the dinosaurs also created a mile-high tsunami that ripped through the world's oceans. (Getty Images)
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Surfs up! Or at least it was 65 million years ago. That’s when a mile-high tsunami ripped through Earth’s oceans after an asteroid (nine miles across in length) slammed into Earth, creating a crater in the Gulf of Mexico measuring a mile deep.

New research, yet to be published, has revealed new details about the dino-murdering asteroid’s effects on Earth after the impact, specifically instances of tsunami.

“The Chicxulub asteroid resulted in a huge global tsunami, the likes of which have not been seen in modern history,” lead researcher Molly Range said. Range received her master’s degree while doing the research in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan.

Range, along with other researches, presented the findings at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. last month.

Although scientists knew there was a catastrophic tsunami event after the asteroid impact, they needed a model that could calculate “the large scale deformation of the [Earth’s] crust that formed the crater, as well as the chaotic waves from the initial blast of water away from the impact site, and waves from ejecta falling back into the water,” Range said.

Some of those “chaotic” waves were a mile high, while others only reached a “miniscule” height of 46 feet high.

In modern times, the largest reported wave struck near New Zealand in the summer of 2018 and was 78 feet tall.

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