Chicxulub Crater: Adieu Dinosaurs

With more than 700 species, we dominate the Earth. We are pretty diverse and well adapted, too. From trudging on the surface to flying, our presence covers every inch of this planet. Some of us feed on lush vegetation whereas some others are fed upon.

Just like any other day, we carry on our routine of hunting, completely unaware of the greater forces at work. Other than the occasional bellowing to communicate, the air is silent. Suddenly, a fierce glow, tiny yet bright enough to dominate the sun’s glaze makes itself visible in the sky. It rapidly grows larger and larger, as if the object generating it is zooming towards the surface at a great speed. It leaves intense smoke trailing behind, dark and gloomy against the calm blue sky. The object splashes into the Gulf of Mexico, falling short of hitting the land by a few kilometres.

And just in a matter of seconds, we become sitting ducks in the cosmic planning to wipe us out.

Those of us unfortunate to reside near the banks dash inland, our stout profiles allowing only a hop. Though that doesn’t seem to go much good. The impactor had hit shallow water. Waves rise in fury. The tsunami hits the land with a mighty force, gobbling up everything in its path. Trees buckle under its strength, and some of us swim to death. The abrupt change in pressure and temperature has also given rise to a shock wave that is shooting through the atmosphere, leaving behind intense winds in its wake that shake the trees to their roots.

The impactor’s crash had shattered it into tiny rocks that now travel upwards and out of our view. Just when we are grateful that the ordeal is over, it rains fire. These tiny rocks are coming at us, and they are coming fast. Their speed scrapes the air, causing them to burn aggressively. Trees, water, animals, none of us are spared.  Trees ignite even as the blazing rocks brush past them. For four long days and nights, we are attacked by these meteorites, and every hit pushes us closer to extinction.

Trees go up in smoke and the temperature increases swiftly as uncontrolled amounts of carbon dioxide is released. Deadly pollution suffocates the atmosphere. Our feathered species who were fortunate to escape burning alive, chokingly succumb to the intense heat. Because all this destruction is not enough, events that reach out to our species that are not yet affected by this catastrophe occur. Yes, though the impact affects us globally, there are still a few of us remaining, surprised and worried at the changing world in front of us.

Smoke released from the burning trees has placed itself above us as a thick, impenetrable cloud of soot. It is blocking out the sunlight, casting a depressing shadow to the already funereal atmosphere. In the absence of the warm cheerful rays, the trees quickly perish. This hits the basic food chain, affecting everyone dependent on them, directly or indirectly. The struggle for survival is so great that some of us consume rocks scattered on the ground just to reduce the acute pangs of hunger. And when it does rain, it’s a steady, acidic one that kills all the aquatic life, relieving them of their tussle for mere existence. The temperatures drop, freezing the weak ones amongst us. For years, the rest of us live in complete darkness, dying a slow, painful death.

It’ll take more than ten years for the skies to clear and Earth to thrive. By that time, however, even the last ones of us would have departed from the surface of this planet. We hope our successors who will replace us in dominating this place are curious enough to explore it, for they will find overwhelming evidence of this disaster all over the world.

We hope they realise the fragility of their existence,  their vulnerability to outer space events, and more importantly, the possibility of extermination they would live in.

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