A gaping big hole in my education

What happens when a piece of an asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour crashes into planet Earth? It leaves a big hole. A very big hole. A hole that is  2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep.

That all this happened approximately 50,000 years ago is neither here nor there. It’s all been scientifically validated and proven beyond doubt that Meteor Crater, in Arizona, is ‘the most well known, best preserved meteor crater on Earth’. That I’d never heard of it is neither here nor there either. Put that down to me not paying attention in Geography class. But like the millions of other tourists that can’t resist the signage off the I40, I had to go have a look.

IMG_6017 (800x600)

Now, I suppose if you’re a space fanatic, a mineralogist, or a geologist, you might get a kick out of it. I’m firmly in the ‘oh, it’s a hole in the ground’ category. Yes it’s impressive, in its own way but it just didn’t do it for me.

I have trouble dealing with time in such great numbers. Anything BC is beyond my limited imagination. Fifty thousand years ago is way too far back to have any impact on my life, at all. It’s a little like temperature. Anything over 25 degrees Celsius is hot. Anyone over 5.10 is tall. My sense of scale leaves a lot to be desired.

IMG_6001 (800x600) (800x600)

Until I got to thinking what would happen if some similar piece of stuff hit the Earth tomorrow. What devastation would result from a collision that had the energy of more than 20 million tons of TNT? Is there any part of the world so remote that the damage to human lives wouldn’t be off the charts? And would we see it coming? Or would it be all over before we knew what had hit us?

The mind boggles. Science is boggling. And for the 30 minutes of ‘what ifs’ that ensued, coupled with a repeated resolve to leave nothing unsaid in this lift lest a little piece of rock is already hurtling on its way,  it was worth the detour.

Share:

Sign up here to get an email whenever I post something new.

Never miss a post

More Posts

Staying local at Kányavári sziget

We dream of islands in the sun. Exotic places where we can get away from it all. We spend hundreds if not thousands of whatevers

Opatija, Croatia – Revisited

We did something we wouldn’t normally do. We booked into a posh hotel. The second-oldest hotel on the Adriatic – the Scessionist-style Heritage Hotel Imperial.

Small stone with the writing: Thank you Michael written in blue between a red heart and a green, white, and yellow flag. In the top left of the photo is a gold coin

Béal na Bláth, Co. Cork, Ireland

One of the many joys of road trips (that way offset the possibility of a breakdown, because, let’s face it, that’s just a possibility) is

The Kingdom of Kerry, Ireland

Back in the first century AD when the O’Connor clan took over the tract of land between the Shannon Estuary and the Maine River, the

Sneem, Co. Kerry, Ireland

The village of Sneem in Co. Kerry is the knot (an tSnaidhm) on the Ring of Kerry. It’s a happening spot, replete with the colourful

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.