5. Gosses Bluff
Situated in almost the dead-centre of the Australian continent, Gosses Bluff crater lies some 100 miles from Alice Springs in the East and 130 miles from Uluru in the South West. Believed to be the result of an asteroid or comet impact which occurred sometime during the late Jurassic/early Cretaceous boundary, time has slowly but surely ensured the craters camouflage within its surroundings. Only considered as being the result of an intergalactic impact from the 1960’s onwards, Gosses Bluffs size has shrunk from an estimated 22km to a mere 5km in the millions of years since its creation. An exposed crater, the site holds much cultural significance with the Australian people, particularly the native Aborigines, who know it as ‘Tnorala’.
4. Chicxulub Crater
Buried under the Yucatan Peninsula in Central Mexico, the Chicxulub crater is a Prehistoric asteroid impact site over 180kilometres in diameter. Estimated to have been infinitely carved into the landscape 65 million years ago by a bolide around six miles wide, the force with which the crater was created is believed to have been the equivalent of 100 teratons of TNT. When the asteroid hit, a mega-tsunamis of unfathomable size would have engulfed every coastline within several thousand miles, a thick layer of superheated ash and dust would have filled the environment for a period of months if not years, and a series of coordinated volcanic eruptions and earthquakes would have caused surface chaos all over the planet. No wonder this impact is widely attributed to bringing about the end of the Dinosaurs.
3. Mistastin Lake
With a diameter of around 16kilometers, the crater which acts to host Mistastin Lake is far from being the largest impact site of its kind; however is an intriguing area of our planet nonetheless. Dating from the ‘Eocene’ epoch (56-34 million years ago), the original size of the crater is believed to be a more substantial 28km, however time, and indeed geography has taken its toll. Located in the most Western Canadian province of Newfoundland, Mistastin Lake boasts a picturesque quality, enhanced more-so by the addition of ‘Horseshoe Island’ in the centre.
2. Lake Bosumtwi
Yet another site which has transformed into a Lake during the time since impact, Lake Bosumtwi, or rather the impact crater in which it sits, was created just over one million years ago. At 8.6 kilometres wide and 265ft deep, the crater is far from being one of the largest, however is undoubtedly one of the more important impact craters on Earth; culturally and geographically speaking. Situated in Southern Ghana, the Lake is surrounded on all sides by thick, difficult and uncompromising rainforest. Whilst this fact poses serious problems for the geologists and surveyors seeking to learn more about the Lakes history, the state of preservation serves to drastically enhance the existence of the thousands of neighbouring tribes people, to whom it is a vital source of water, not to mention an extremely important spiritual landmark.
1. Aorounga Crater
Another of the many prominent asteroid impact craters which scar the African continent, the Aorounga Impact Crater is situated in Chad. The crater is exposed and measures at 12.6km in diameter, with an estimated age of some 345 million years. Given the sheer age of the blemish, as well as the geography of the land surrounding it, there is still a lot to be learned about it. One theory relating to the crater however, is that it belongs to a larger chain which extends in a Northward direction. Through the use of satellite imaging, many experts see some truth in this, referring to the Aorounga Crater as ‘Aorounga South’.