During my identification of various Martian craters today I was reminded of a piece of our history that we’ve heard of many times before: the meteor that killed (nearly all) the dinosaurs. Sound familiar? It’s easy to feel like these things aren’t real even when you know they are because films, stories, and comics today place dinosaurs in the “fantasy” category. SO I wanted to enlighten you all with a bit of information that most of our elementary school teachers glossed over. The K-T impact event left a scar where it smashed in to Earth’s surface, and the location of that scar might hit closer to home for Americans than they expect. Where is it? The Yucatan peninsula. AKA, just west of Cancun, Mexico. Yup, Spring Breakers, you’re partying over the site of the most radical and immediate extinction event in Earth’s history. Let’s take a closer look… the Cicxulub crater is what’s left of the KT impact site. 180km across and 20km deep, the diameter of said crater is the distance from Houston -> Austin. Upon impact, the kinetic energy released was equivalent to ~100 million MEGATONS of TNT - that’s the energy of 100 million atomic bombs. Subsequent ash and the obliteration of countless chemicals and the impactor itself caused a 3-year long winter with sub-freezing temps worldwide. The impact event formed many kinds of tektite, granite, shocked quartz and other rock as well. Here, you can see the impact site in the topography of the peninsula. You can see the rest of the crater in 3D gravity maps of the site! Scientists in 2016 finally drilled in to the site and uncovered countless bits of history. Google “Chicxulub crater site” for more info on this topic.