dark matter mass extinctions

It is well known that astronomical events have a direct connection with events on earth. The tides of the ocean, for instance, are influenced by the phases of the moon. This is only one event that displays the speculator connection between earth and the universe. If the moon can affect the tides, then why can’t other factors greatly impact similar situations on our planet?

A pattern of extinction has emerged, it seems. At every 30 million years of time, mass extinctions occur wiping out a whopping 99% of lifeforms on the planet. Scientists are discovering that there may be a reason that earth’s life is thinning out at 30 million year intervals, and they think it could have something to do with events in our solar system.


It is true, about 99% of all species that have ever lived on earth are extinct. This number may seem unreal, but considering the mass number of species that have ever lived, this number is logical. Fossils show that mass extinctions occur between 26 and 30 million years apart. This is the same amount of time that it takes our sun to pass the center of the Milky Way and move up and down along the galactic plane. Strange, huh?

The galactic plane

Within the galactic plane, gases and dust are collected. These substances create disturbances which cause space debris to be hurdled toward the earth. Although this seems like a good enough explanation for mass extinction, through speeding comet destruction, there may be something else at play that causes the loss of mass numbers of life forms — dark matter.

Dark matter

We do not know much about dark matter, and in fact, we cannot see it at all. We know that dark matter exists because of the effect it has with gravity, here on earth. It seems that there are other attributes of dark matter, according to the findings published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Apparently, comets passing through dark matter could be knocked off course and come careening toward the earth’s atmosphere. This alone could cause extinction of a great number of the planet’s inhabitants.

Our Milky Way

To understand the correlation between the universe and the earth, first you must understand the Milky Way. Our Milky Way is a disc shaped structure filled with stars, dust and gases. It is approximately 120,000 light years across, woah! In the center, or the galactic plane of the Milky Way, there is a concentration of dust, gas and, of course, dark matter. In each light year of space, there is one solar mass of dark matter.

Our solar system

Of course, our solar system revolves around the Milky Way every 250 million years and also oscillates within the galactic plane every 30 million years. This coincides with the time it takes for mass extinction to occur. Coincidence? Not likely!

Michael Rampino of the New York University first suggested the dark matter connection with mass extinction. Rampino believes that comets could be thrown off course by large invisible clouds of dark matter, and sent to earth in a huge collision. One such event is believed to have occurred more than 60 million years ago, with the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Another theory suggests that dark matter could be caught and pulled in by the earth’s gravity, then forced into the planet’s core. This could create an increase in energy and heat, which would form numerous volcanos.

Regardless of how it was done, mass extinctions ended the lives of most species that ever lived on the earth. Hard to believe, isn’t it. Whether by volcano or by comet, scientists still hold firm the connection between the universe and our home planet. Collected belief says it will happen again. Are you prepared for such a tragedy? I guess it doesn’t really matter, our fate lies in the hands of the universe.

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Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.