It wasn't just an asteroid come down from the heavens to destroy the former masters of the planet. No. Our Earth Mother knew their time had come, and unleashed oceans of lava to scorch the lands that dinosaurs once roamed.
At least, that's what a few daring scientists want to argue. Matthew Jackson and his team at Boston University believe that the Earth's largest extinctions can be traced back to massive eruptions originating from two unusually hot spots in the mantle. These sporadic eruptions result seas of magma that span 260,000 square kilometres. Jackson has studied the regions these flows leave behind, called large igneous provinces, and claims to have proof that the mineral signatures inside these LIPS date back to around when the dinosaurs died off.
The researchers agree that their findings are indeed controversial, and that more work needs to be done. I'm personally excited, saddened and terrified all at once. For one, if you have to go, that's a pretty epic way to go. Then again, to see an ocean of lava overtake you like some '90s B-movie is pretty sad. And then... how likely is it that it could happen again? [New Scientist]