March 23, 2024 at 3:33 pm

It Once Rained On Earth For 2 Million Years And Gave Rise To A Massive Explosion Of Life On Earth

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

The whole history of the earth can be pretty hard to wrap your mind around – at least, it is for me.

So hearing that there was an event in our distant past in which rain fell for 2 million years straight is a fact that doesn’t sound true.

An unusual sediment layer was found by scientists in the 70s and 80s, deposited in ancient rocks. The odd combination of siliciclastic sedimentation and carbonate in the Eastern Alps dated to around 232-234 million years ago.

A similar finding in the UK, in which a layer of gray rock was found inside the areas noteworthy red stone, suggests that around that time, it began to rain on Earth.

Since these sediments were deposited over a long time, experts think this is evidence that right as the dinosaurs exploded in numbers and diversity, there was a 1-2 million-year-long wet period.

Source: Shutterstock

In fact, the common belief is that this “Carnian Pluvial Event” is the reason that dinosaurs were able to thrive.

Jacopo Dal Corso, a researcher, talks about how the volcanic eruptions of the Wrangellia Large Igneous Province could have triggered the unusual rainfall amounts.

“The eruptions peaked in the Carnian. I was studying the geochemical signature of the eruptions a few years ago and identified some massive effects on the atmosphere worldwide. The eruptions were so huge, they pumped vast amounts of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and there were spikes of global warming.”

A study published in the Journal of the Geological Society speaks to how this humid, wet period was bad for life in general.

“Volcanic eruptions generate acid rain and greenhouse gases, which in turn lead to extinctions by shock warming, stripping of vegetation and soils on land, and ocean anoxia and acidification.”

Though many species were wiped out by the event, there were a few winners.

“In the wake of wide extinctions of plants and key herbivores on land, the dinosaurs were seemingly the main beneficiaries in the time of recovery, expanding rapidly in diversity, ecological impact (relative abundance) and regional distribution, from South America initially, to all continents.”

Source: Shutterstock

Not only would this explain the explosion the dinosaurs enjoyed, but its effects reach into the modern world.

“It may have been one of the most important (rapid events) in the history of life in terms of its role in allowing not only the ‘age of dinosaurs’, but also the origins of most key clades that form the modern fauna of terrestrial tetrapods, namely the lissamphibians, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, and mammals.”

It’s always amazing to me how many events had to happen and line up just so in order for our exact world to exist now.

Makes you question whether or not this life is really random, you know?

If you think that’s impressive, check out this story about a “goldmine” of lithium that was found in the U.S. that could completely change the EV battery game.