How the Earth Works series

Richard Stanley


I've now watched 6 of the 8 episodes of a very interesting 2013 documentary series, How the Earth Works. It is both fascinating and sobering, even though I was already aware of the main thesis that such natural cataclysms are always lurking.

There is also a school of thought that the memory of such cataclysms are a major source that informs our religions, particularly their emphasis on employing Fear. Fear which defeats Reason via hijacking our brains' wiring. The oldest temple complex know to mankind, at Göbekli Tepe, shows interest in comets, as well as maintaining an ever shifting orientation to the precessional movement of the stars. It is so old it is not long after the impactor creating the so-called Carolina Bays and the end of the North American large primates.

One of the episodes is on asteroid impactors, and I would have liked to see it discuss the Carolina Bays and the Younger-Dryas period in addition to the Chicxulub impactor and crater. The series has a lot of fascinating details, like that I was not aware that the Mayan water holes, cenotes, were formed concentrically around the center of the impact site.

Dear Richard,

Yes, the cenotes are visible on Google Earth and the semicircular ring had apparently been discovered before searches were made for the Chicxulub crater. The Carolina Bays are also visible on Google Earth but what is not visible there are the Nebraska Rainwater Basins whose axes coupled to the former points to a meteor strike on Saginaw Bay in Michigan - but a strike upon the Laurentide Ice Sheet in that era, pieces of ice apparently spraying out from the impact site. The big issue is whether it caused the extermination of megafauna even in South America - and, as therefore implied in some articles, whether there were multiple meteor strikes. This will take some sorting out - though I suspect that the Hiawatha Crater in Greeland may prove much older.

Yours faithfully
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Richard Stanley

One of the episodes discusses that the big island of Hawaii will eventually collapse like its older siblings, and create a huge tsunami. It focused on the devastating damage that would occur to Los Angeles, and mentioned the western coast line of South America taking the brunt, but I'm guessing Australia will be at risk, since the expected 'landslide' is on the south face of the island.

It talked about Anak Krakatoa and its previous incarnations, not knowing that Anak Krakatoa would have its recent fit.

The volcano episodes did not mention the supercaldera at Yellowstone, which is somewhat due to blow via its 600,000 year cycle. I live a few hundred miles south of yet another one in California.