Before the appearance of people, the world was completely different. Our planet did not always look the same as it is now. For the last 4.5 billion years, she has experienced incredible changes that you never imagined. If you could go back and visit the Earth millions of years ago, you would see someone else’s planet, as if descended from the pages of fantastic books.
1. Giant mushrooms grew throughout the planet
About 400 million years ago the trees were about to the waist of a man. All the plants were much smaller than the current ones – except the mushrooms. They grew up to 8 m in height, and their leg (or already the trunk?) Was 1 meter in diameter. They did not have such big hats, which we today associate with mushrooms. Instead, they were just sticking out pillars. But they were everywhere.
2. The sky was orange, and the oceans green
The sky was not always blue. About 3.7 billion years ago, the oceans are believed to be green, the continents are black, and the sky looked like an orange haze. The oceans were green, because iron dissolved in seawater, leaving green rust. The continents were black due to the lack of plants and lava cover. The sky was not blue, because instead of oxygen there was mainly methane.
3. The planet smelled of rotten eggs
Scientists are sure that they know how it once smelled on our planet. And it was a distinct smell of rotten eggs. All this is because 2 billion years ago the oceans were filled with gaseous bacteria, feeding on salt and releasing hydrogen sulphide, filling the air with a stench.
4. The planet was violet
When the first plants appeared on the Earth, they were not green. According to one theory, they would be purple. It is believed that the first life forms on Earth partially absorbed light from the Sun. Modern plants are green because they use chlorophyll to absorb sunlight, but the first plants used the retina – and this gave them a vivid shade of violets. Purple may have been our color for a long time.
5. The world looked like a snowball
We all know about the Ice Age. However, there is evidence that one of the glacial periods 716 million years ago was very extreme. It is called the “snowy Earth” period, because the Earth may have been so ice-covered that it literally looked like a giant white snowball floating in space.
6. Acid rain fell on the Earth for 100 thousand years
In the end, the period of the snowy earth has ended – and in the most horrible way imaginable. Further, “intensive chemical weathering” began. In other words, from the sky constantly poured acid rain – and so 100 thousand years. He melted the glaciers that covered the planet, “sent” nutrients to the ocean and allowed life to arise underwater. Before life began to appear on Earth, the planet was a poisonous, inhospitable desert.
7. The Arctic was green and densely populated
About 50 million years ago the Arctic was a completely different place. It was a time, called the era of the early Eocene, and the world was very warm. In Alaska grew palm trees, and crocodiles swam off the coast of Greenland. The Arctic Ocean was probably a gigantic freshwater reservoir that abounded with living things.
8. The dust blocked the sun
When the asteroid crashed into the Earth 65 million years ago and destroyed the dinosaurs, the chaos did not end. The world has turned into a dark and terrible place. All the dust, soil and rocky rocks rose into the atmosphere and even into space, enveloping the planet with a huge layer of dust. The Sun disappeared from the sky. This did not last long, but even when a huge cloud of dust disappeared, sulfuric acid remained in the stratosphere and hit the clouds. And again it’s time for acid rains.
9. There were rains from liquid hot magma
However, the previous asteroid was a child’s play compared to the one that crashed into the planet 4 billion years ago and turned it into a hellish landscape. The oceans on the planet began to boil. The heat from the asteroid impact actually ended with the evaporation of the first oceans on Earth. Huge parts of the Earth’s surface melted. Magnesium oxide rose into the atmosphere and condensed into droplets of liquid hot magma falling out in the form of rain.
10. Giant insects were everywhere
About 300 million years ago the planet was completely covered with low-lying marsh forests, and the air is filled with oxygen. At 50% more oxygen than today, and this created an incredible surge in life … and the emergence of huge and terrible insects. For some creatures, oxygen in the atmosphere was too excessive. Small insects could not cope with this, so they began to increase actively in size. Scientists have found fossil remains of dragonflies, which were the size of a modern seagull. By the way, they most likely were carnivorous carnivores.