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(CNN) -- Think of the worst natural disaster imaginable.
Maybe it's a shocking earthquake, a torrential storm or an explosive volcano blast.
Then multiply that phenomenon's power and effect by a million.
In a report in the journal "Science" last month, researchers said an asteroid four to eight miles across slammed into Earth a quarter billion years ago, spurring volcanic eruptions that covered the planet in lava and kicked up so much dust and ash to block the sun's rays for centuries.
The cataclysmic event that ended the life of many earth forms, scientists said, advanced the rise of dinosaurs and eventually humans many million years later.
The lack of light, damaged vegetation and overall poor conditions left species scrambling to adapt.
Ninety percent of the Earth's 15,000 species became extinct in the aftermath, including many shellfish, as well as trilobites - a cockroach-like creature that once canvassed the planet.
Scientists arrived at this conclusion after unearthing gases normally found in outer space, which they traced to the enormous collision.
They combined this research, gathered from several countries with evidence of massive volcanic activity around this time to theorize the idea of an collision-induced big bang -- around 185 million years before a like event spurred the end of dinosaurs on Earth."We're not sure of all the environmental consequences, but with both the impact and with the volcanic activity, we do know that the Earth was not a happy place," study researcher Robert Poreda, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester in New York, said in a statement."It may be that the combined effects of impact and volcanism are necessary to cause such a tremendous extinction." A giant crater in the Yucatan peninsula, north of Guatemala in southeast Mexico, is a visual reminder of a cosmic collision 65 million years ago that scientists say wiped out the dinosaurs.But unlike that event, the researchers in this study do not know where the giant space object touched down 250 million years ago.But deep in the Earth, researchers did find a layer of small carbon molecules called buckminsterfullerenes, or Buckyballs.The soccer ball-shaped spheres contained helium and argon gases.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating