Ancient Solar Storms: Apocalyptic Event Imprinted In Tree Rings
As mute witnesses to history, trees have eons of memories.
Their rings can reveal secrets about cataclysmic events in ages past.
Recently, scientists uncovered startling evidence buried deep in the growth rings of long dead pines.
The were traces of mammoth solar storms and civilization-altering comet strikes.
Ancient Solar Storms: The Tree Rings Of Power
Our story begins 14,300 years ago in a sleepy pine forest nestled in the French Alps.
These researchers led by Cécile Miramont hit the jackpot finding these time capsule trees.
By analyzing the trees rings and carbon 14 spikes the team pieced together dates of intense solar radiation events.
Charged particles slam into Earth they leave a mark more radioactive carbon which gets soaked up by living things like trees.
This allowed Cécile and crew to match up freaky spikes in tree ring carbon to Miyake events from long ago.
As the tempest of high-energy particles peppered Earth, the hapless pines endured heavy ionization, leaving a distinct radioactive signature embedded in their woody growth rings for millennia.
The newfound Miyake event is the largest of the 10 that are known so far; it’s about twice the size of the most recent C.E. 774 blast and an order of magnitude more powerful than the so-called Carrington Event of 1859.
Though not a Miyake event, the Carrington Event was the most powerful solar storm that humans have experienced since the industrial revolution.
Ice sheets melted after the last Ice Age mega-flooding and buried this pine forest alive.
The lack of oxygen kept the trees intact.
This random ancient buried pine forest is now helping rewrite the timeline of wild solar storms.
Just another day in the lab for Cécile the dendrochronologist.
The researchers took carbon 14 samples from 172 of these trees found along the banks of the Drouzet River. They soon discovered a strange excess in radiocarbon dated to 14,300 years ago.
To confirm the timing, Miramont and her colleagues looked at beryllium 10 (another marker of extreme solar activity) in Greenland ice cores. They found that both carbon 14 and beryllium 10 shot up at the same time. “[The sizes of] these spikes are completely unprecedented,” Bard say
The intensity of radiation was so severe and spike so huge that scientists dubbed it “Miyake Zeus” after the Greek god renowned for furious thunderbolts.
If such a storm struck our technology-wrapped world today, it could really frazzle our collective nerves.
Just one direct hit to our gadget-addled civilization could spur weeks of widespread electric grid failures, satellite disruptions, GPS blackouts and communication chaos.
Feelings of panic and despair would surely swell without cell phones, internet, transportation or Neflix.
Yet as intensely disruptive as Miyake Zeus was, an even earlier calamity brought more lasting impacts – an epic cosmic cannonball dubbed the “Göbekli Tepe Impactor.”
Ancient Solar Storms: Gobekli Tepe’s Destruction
Around 10,900 BC at a vibrant temple-observatory complex called Göbekli Tepe (“Potbelly Hill”) constructed by an advanced culture in southern Turkey.
Precisely what motivated them to so studiously watch the wheeling heavens above remains unclear.
Intricate carvings found on a pillar known as the Vulture Stone recorded what they saw which was a roiling swarm of comets plunging towards Earth.
Using this guise the shaman could enter the sky world and counter the actions of the supernatural creature seen as responsible for cataclysms like the comet impact of 10,900 BC, referred to by scientists today as the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) event.
This cosmic trickster was seen to take the form of a sky fox or sky wolf, embodied perhaps in the leaping foxes carved in relief on the inner faces of key pillars at Göbekli Tepe
One wayward icy wanderer, likely fragments of a larger bolide, scored a direct bullseye on our blue marble.
Piercing the atmosphere with otherworldly force, the collision delivered a concussive hammer-blow to the world below.
When the debris settled, woolly mammoths were wiped forever into extinction, the 1,000 year Younger Dryas mini ice age began.
To try to figure out whether that comet strike actually happened or not, the researchers used computer models to match the patterns of the stars detailed on the Vulture Stone to a specific date – and they found evidence that the event in question would have occurred about 10,950 BCE, give or take 250 years.
The eventual construction of Stonehenge would need waiting another 8,000 years to be built.
Careful analysis and translation of these cryptic carvings revealed the Göbekli Tepe impact likely occurred around 10,950 BC,
Greenland ice cores closely corroborate this fact, pinpointing the initiation of the Younger Dryas glaciation at 10,890 BC.
The dating of these carvings also matches an ice core taken from Greenland, which pinpoints the Younger Dryas period as beginning around 10,890 BCE.
“If you consider that, according to astronomers, this giant comet probably arrived in the inner solar system some 20 to 30 thousand years ago, and it would have been a very visible and dominant feature of the night sky, it is hard to see how ancient people could have ignored this given the likely consequences.”
The intricately carved symbols were found to precisely match ancient constellations so exactly that scientists could identify the fateful day disaster originally struck.
The carvings show clear signs of being intentionally preserved and cared for over many generations, indicating this traumatic event was solemnly memorialized by the Göbekli Tepe community for millennia.
So what wisdom can we glean from trees and carved stones with such long memories of turbulence in Earth’s stormy past?
Someone realized that only by allaying people’s fears regarding the immense potency of the cosmic trickster could stability be truly restored to the world.
And whenever this supernatural creature returned to the heavens in the guise of a comet—seen as a visible manifestation of the sky fox or sky wolf—it would be the shaman’s role to enter the sky world and counter its baleful influence, a primary motivation I see as behind the construction of Göbekli Tepe.