Top 10 Biggest Known Asteroid Hits on Earth

Our world is a dangerous place. Just because everything seems calm and serene does not mean that our world is safe from cosmic disasters. We do not need to look that far away to confirm this either. Almost all other heavenly bodies in our solar system have impact craters caused by asteroids and meteors. We are lucky enough that most meteors are reduced to ash by our atmosphere before they get close to Earth. However, some bodies have still managed to make their way to the surface of the Earth and below is a list of the largest of them.

Top 10 Biggest Known Asteroid Hits on Earth

10. Chesapeake Bay Crater

The asteroid that created this crater was estimated to have hit Earth some 35 million years ago, and is located in the present-day Virginia, United States, about 125 miles away from Washington, DC. It is 53 miles wide and was discovered in the 1980s.

9. Popigai Crater

This one is located in Sibera, Russia and is estimated to have hit 35.7 million years ago. According to Russian scientists, there are trillions of carats of diamond, referred to as impact diamonds, in this crater.

8. Chicxulub Crater

The Chicxulub Crater is located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and many scientists agree that it was the asteroid that created this crater which led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. According to estimates, the diameter of the crater is a whopping 186 miles.

7. Kara Crater

Created about 70.3 million years ago, this impact crater is now greatly eroded and many scientists suggest that the structure is composed of two craters: the Kara and the Ust-kara.

6. Morokweng Crater

Plenty of fossilized remains of the meteorite can be found in this impact crater which is located not that far away from the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. The meteorite that caused it is estimated to have hit 145 million years ago.

5. Manicouagan Crater

The impact crater, which is located in Quebec, Canada, and estimated to have collided with Earth some 215 million years ago, makes up the present day’s Lake Manicouagan. It is considered one of the most preserved craters, despite the erosion it has gone through.

4. Woodleigh Crater

This crater is quite unique from the others in that it is not quite exposed to the surface. This is because it was created 364 million years ago in what is today known as Western Australia. Because it is not clearly visible, estimates on its diameter vary from 25 to 75 miles.

3. Acraman Crater

Another entry from Australia, the Acraman Crater is thought to have made an impact 580 million years ago in today’s South Australia. The diameter is estimated to be 56 miles.

2. Sudbury Basin

This one is considered one of the largest and the oldest impact structures on Earth. The impact was made about 1.8 billion years ago and is located in Ontario, Canada.

1. Vredefort Crater

Plate tectonics have made it difficult to spot this crater, but this beast has a radius of 118 miles and is located in South Africa. In 2005, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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