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'Giant asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs from Earth fell in India'

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TEXAS (BNS): Most scientists since long have believed that dinosaurs – one of the largest roaming mammals on Earth – were wiped out when a huge asteroid crashed on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico many million years ago, creating the Chicxulub crater and causing widespread devastation.

However, differing from this popular belief, an Indian-born American scientist at the Texas University has claimed that the impact site of the giant asteroid was the western coast of India near Bombay High.

The Shiva crater, submerged on the western shelf of India around the Bombay High, is the largest known impact crater on Earth, measuring 500 kilometers in diameter.

This crater, according to Professor Sankar Chatterjee, could well be the buried remnant of the fateful dinosaur-killing event.

“The asteroid that created the Shiva crater would have been 40 kilometers in diameter, and the energy created by the impact would have been the largest holocaust in geologic history, equivalent to the explosion of 100 trillion tons of TNT, or about 10,000 times greater than the explosive energy of the world’s entire nuclear arsenal,” the University in its website quoted Chatterjee as saying. 

The impact may have injected a large volume of dust into the atmosphere that blocked sunlight for months and prevented photosynthesis; as a result, plants and animals died, the food chain collapsed, and dinosaurs perished.

The tremendous impact would have ignited global fires, initiated tsunamis, destroyed coastal habitats, produced acid rains, turned seawater acidic, dissolved carbonate-shelled animals and devastated the biosphere. Millions of organisms would have died instantly from the tremendous tremor and the global fire generated from the impact.

According to the scientist, the ‘Shiva’ impact might have enhanced a spectacular volcanic outburst known as the ‘Deccan Trap’ when a million cubic kilometers of lava flooded the western part of India in just a few great pulses. The greatest pulse seems to have coincided with the Shiva impact.

“The Shiva impact shattered the lithosphere, made the western coast of India seismically active, and caused the plate movement separating India from the Seychelles Island,” Chatterjee said. The impact probably led to the sudden northward acceleration of the Indian plate, which was then an island continent located south of the equator, to collide with Asia, forming the Himalayas.

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