Meteors Are ForeverS

Usually when a large meteor hits the Earth, it's a cataclysmic event that heralds the extinction of various species. But they also mean lots of diamonds. The latest cache of meteor-made diamonds was just discovered in California.

The latest diamond cache was recently discovered in a part of California where scientists say a large meteor hit almost 13,000 years ago, killing off the pygmy mammoth and the early human Clovis culture. University of Oregon anthropologist James Kennett told the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

It is hard to explain this assemblage of materials without a cosmic impact event and associated extensive wildfires. This hypothesis fits with the abrupt climatic cooling as recorded in ocean-drilled sediments beneath the Santa Barbara Channel. The cooling resulted when dust from the high-pressure, high-temperature, multiple impacts was lofted into the atmosphere, causing a dramatic drop in solar radiation.

The diamonds, which are too tiny to use in jewelry, have only been found at other known cosmic hit sites, where they appear to be the result of impacts and the concomitant wildfires.

Hey Jupiter, Earth Gets Hit Too - Evidence For North American Cosmic Impact 13,000 Years Ago [Scientific Blogging]
Shock-Synthesized Hexagonal Diamonds In Younger Dryas Boundary Sediments [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]

[Image via retro traveler]