The Chicxulub asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs from Earth also caused massive volcanic eruptions deep beneath the ocean, a new study claims.
The study, published in the journal Science Advances, reveals when the 6-mile-wide asteroid crashed into what is now Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula it triggered underwater eruptions and that resulted in the mass extinction of around 75 percent species in the world.
Until now it was believed that around 66 million-years-ago, the asteroid triggered the apocalyptic earthquake and caused wildfires, global cooling and acid rain. However, researchers now say that it also caused eruptions at the "paleo-distances between the Deccan Traps (a volcanic region in India) and the Chicxulub crater."
Joseph Byrnes of the University of Minnesota and Leif Karlstrom of the University of Oregon, who led the study, also provided evidence of the eruption in the form of bump made up of magma discovered on the seafloor of Pacific and Indian oceans.
According to Byrnes and Karlstorm, the catastrophic event ejected molten rock that was enough to cover the entire United State a couple of hundred feet deep.
"We're showing there was a lot more going on than we thought," geophysicist Byrnes, the study's lead author, said. "We're painting a new sequence of events."
While Byrnes and Karlstorm have provided proof of the magma to support their theory, but the study has divided scientists. Researchers are not sure about the link between the asteroid and volcanic eruptions.
"Why would that much earthquake energy cause eruptions like that?" Sean Gulick, a geophysicist at the University of Texas at Austin, who was not a part of the study, said. "It's an interesting idea, but where's the model that backs up the physics that would allow that to happen?"
Jay Melosh of Purdue University is also of the same opinion and even called it a "mere coincidence."
"The signal that they see is really kind of feeble," Jay Melosh of Purdue University said, according to The Guardian. "There's something there, maybe. Whether it has to do with the impact is more questionable."
"Unfortunately, around the Chicxulub crater, the volcanic activity is practically absent except the impact melt rock in the target rock of the crater basin," Sankar Chatterjee, an earth scientist at Texas Tech University not involved in the research, told Gizmodo. "One should expect massive volcanism in the Gulf of Mexico, if Chicxulub was the culprit for far away volcanism."