Two years of darkness erupted on Earth after the impact that decimated dinosaurs and most other living things 66 million year ago. This is according to a recent study.

Soot from wildfires filled the sky and blocked out the Sun soon after the asteroid hit the planet, according to a team from the California Academy of Sciences.

It was 7.5 miles wide and travelling at 27,000 mph when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists have been long studying the effects of the impact of the asteroid on Earth’s life, which eventually resulted in the death of 75% of Earth’s inhabitants.

A new US study has revealed that clouds of soot and ash particles could be the primary extinction trigger.

These clouds, they claim, would have lasted for as long as two years. They put large areas of the Earth under darkness and made it difficult for any living thing to grow.

The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and most life 66 million years ago sparked two years of darkness on the Earth, according to a new study

According to new research, the asteroid that decimated the dinosaurs and all life on Earth 66 millions years ago caused two years of darkness.


Astronomers used a large fossil record from Hell Creek, which dates back to the time the asteroid struck, approximately 66,000,000 years ago, as the basis for their study.

Next, they ran simulations that showed how global darkness would impact a particular community.

The scenarios ranged from 100 to 800 days total darkness due to ash clouds.

Before they started, they knew that approximately 75 percent of the species were extinct.

It took the team 700 days to achieve this degree of extinction, they discovered.

Also, they discovered that it took forty years to get back to normal after the darkness subsided and the sun returned. 

Although the initial impact killed everyone in its vicinity, there was much more destruction in the years that followed.

It includes flooding, tide waves, and huge environmental change that can spread around the globe, like the spewing particles into the air. 

While Earth was covered in darkness, researchers believe that photosynthesis (the process used by plants to grow) would have failed.

In an interview with Live Science, the team explained that such a scenario would have resulted in ecosystem collapse. The decline in photosynthesis could have continued for years, even after sunlight returned.

The atmospheric darkness resulted from sulphuric acid and rock pulverization, which formed as clouds in cloudy skies after the crash. It cooled the global temperature and produced acid rain. That led to the emergence of wildfires. 

This ‘nuclear winter scenario’, as first proposed in the 1980s, played a major part in the mass extinction explained Peter Roopnarine, study author, to Live Science. 

It has been theorized for decades but models to show the effects of darkness on human life were only developed in the last decade.

Roopnarine stated that the common belief is that the global wildfires were the primary source of fine smoke that was suspended in the upper atmosphere. 

“The amount of soot in the initial days and weeks after the fires had burned would have been sufficient to decrease the amount of sunlight, but not enough to stop photosynthesis.

This team examined the effects of the long-term darkness period and recreated the ecosystems that existed at the time the asteroid struck.

These 300 species were selected from a large fossil-rich area known as Hell Creek Formation. It is composed of shale in North Dakota, South Dakota. Wyoming. and Montana.

Soot from wildfires filled the sky and blocked out the Sun soon after the asteroid hit the planet, according to a team from the California Academy of Sciences

A team of scientists from California Academy of Sciences found that the Sun was blocked by soot caused by wildfires shortly after an asteroid struck it.

The simulations were then used to simulate the periods of darkness that could be experienced by the community for between 100 and 700 days. This was to determine which period of darkness would result in the same level of death as what happened to vertebrate species.

Fossil records indicate that approximately 73% of vertebrate varieties went extinct after the impact. 

Roopnarine explained to Live Science that the intensity of the darkening effect would have begun quickly and reached its maximum point in just a few days.

Even if they were dark for 150 days, most ecosystems would recover. But after 200 days the ‘critical tipping’ point was reached.

At this time, some species died out and the balance of power among remaining species was shifted to a point that threatened the ecosystem.

The darkness lasts for 700 days, then the extinctions explode dramatically. This suggests that Hell Creek residents experienced approximately two years of darkness.

Roopnarine explained to Live Science that conditions varied around the world due to temperature variations and atmospheric flow. However, we estimate the Hell Creek area could have been darkened for as long as two years.

These preliminary findings, which only cover one ecosystem, are not conclusive, but could be used to suggest that it might bounce back across other species.

Simulations on the Hell Creek community showed that conditions would rebound after 700 days of darkness.

These findings were presented to the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting (AGU).


Nearly 66,000,000 years ago, non-avian dinosaurs were extincted and nearly half of all species disappeared.

Mass extinction was the catalyst for mammals’ rise and human evolution.

The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

It crashed into what was now the Gulf of Mexico.

It created a massive dust cloud and soot cloud, which triggered climate change. This resulted in the extinction of 75% all species.

Research suggests that global disasters like this one could not have been caused by a direct hit to Mexico’s rocks located in shallow waters. These rocks are rich in hydrocarbons.

Experts think that within 10 hours after the shock, the Gulf coast was hit by a huge tsunami.

Around 66 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world's species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

Nearly 66,000,000 years ago, non-avian dinosaurs were extincted and over half of all species disappeared. Chicxulub is frequently cited (stock image).

It caused earthquakes or landslides even in Argentina. 

Researchers discovered small pieces of rock and other debris from the crash site.

They are also known as spherules. These small particles coated the surface of our planet with thick layers of soot.

Experts say that the total collapse of the aquatic system was caused by the absence of light from the sun.

Because the phytoplankton basis of nearly all aquatic food chains was eliminated, this is why.

The more than 180,000,000 years of evolution which brought us to the Cretaceous point were believed to have been destroyed within 20-30 years.