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5 Of Earth's Most Catastrophic Life-Wiping Events

The World Science Festival speculates: Is the sixth one happening right now?

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Earth has had it pretty rough. After all that elbowing following the Big Bang, she's had five massive extinction events in her lifetime.

The World Science Festival compiled a simplified breakdown of what exactly happened — and what species took the biggest hits.

The X axis on the chart marks how long ago they happened, and the Y axis is how many species died, essentially. Spoiler alert: It's a lot.These don't even count the small-scale mass extinctions, and, as BBC Nature points out, a lot of animals that are endangered now will probably be on future lists.
Julie Rossman and Clare Smith Marash / World Science Festival / Via worldsciencefestival.com

The X axis on the chart marks how long ago they happened, and the Y axis is how many species died, essentially. Spoiler alert: It's a lot.

These don't even count the small-scale mass extinctions, and, as BBC Nature points out, a lot of animals that are endangered now will probably be on future lists.

Volcanos and oxygen were the biggest instigators of these events. The most familiar is probably the fifth, which is an asteroid hitting Earth and being dinosaurs' ultimate demise.

Here's the breakdown:

Julie Rossman and Clare Smith Marash / World Science Festival / Via worldsciencefestival.com
  1. What do you think: Are we the sixth biggest mass extinction event?

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    Yes, and it's terrible
    Correct
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    I'm not sure
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    No, we're just living our lives
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What do you think: Are we the sixth biggest mass extinction event?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes, and it's terrible
  2.  
    vote votes
    I'm not sure
  3.  
    vote votes
    No, we're just living our lives
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