Birth of a Planet
Giving Order to Earth's Chaotic Beginning
The Earth Forms
The beginning of the Earth was birth by fire as our Earth formed from cosmic dust and space gas. The planet was a chaotic, hostile, and dark place obviously very different from our home now.
The Moon Forms
The formation of our moon is an important event in the timeline of our earth. Some scientists think that another planet-sized object actually collided with Earth to form the moon we know today. The moon, even today, represents a powerful image in the progress of humanity.
The Oceans Form
Eventually, the Earth began to cool which caused the present water vapor to transition to rain. This rain fell continuously for centuries. This water filled the vast expanses of the earth's surface thereby forming the oceans.
The earliest known life forms on earth are microorganisms found in hydrothermal vents under the surface of the ocean. Yes, from this watery womb humans eventually emerged 3 billion or so years later. The recipe for our progress was a lot of time seasoned with scientific serendipity.
Complex Life on Earth
Rise in Oxygen in the Air
The prevailing theory is that new life forms helped fill our atmosphere with an increased oxygen level due to their use of photosynthesis. Because of this new oxygen level, more complex life emerged. Also, this newfound oxygen fueled a growth in the ozone layer, which shielded life from harmful cosmic radiation, thereby allowing life to move from the shallow seas to the sandy shores.
The Cambrian Explosion
Perhaps, the Cambrian Explosion is the most important evolutionary event in our earth's history in life as we know it. The appearance of complex animal fossils with skeletal remains accompanied by previously undiscovered soft-tissue imprints, make this event a seminal marker of life on Earth.
Life and Death Collide
The Great Dying
During this extinction event, 96% of species died out and it lasted several million years. All current life sprang from this 4% of bottlenecked species. The prevailing theory is that many of these species died due to climate change however, there are other theories making understanding the earth's past so critical to understanding Earth's future.
Perhaps the most well-known, this sudden extinction event led to the demise of the dinosaurs. In addition to turtles, snakes, and crocodilians—mammals started thriving to become the widely distributed animals that they are today. Modern fauna was here to stay.
Humanity is Drawing Near
Mammals have now become the dominant life form on Earth. Although appearing in the fossil record alongside the dinosaurs they weathered the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction managing to not only survive but thrive. The human species is not that far into the horizon.