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'Terrifying' simulation shows what would happen if a giant asteroid struck Earth

'Terrifying' simulation shows what would happen if a giant asteroid struck Earth

Let's just say a giant asteroid wouldn't spell good news for humanity.

When we think about space - its size, what’s out there - it can feel overwhelming.

There is so much we don’t know, and many questions will remain unanswered.

But the Discovery Channel has tried to answer at least one question for us through a video simulation, which was posted back in 2011 on Anselmo La Manna's YouTube channel – and that is, what would happen if a giant asteroid struck Earth?

It doesn’t bear thinking about, but if you’re curious, this is what the video simulation shows.

It begins with the massive asteroid, moving at more than 720,000km per hour (nearly 450,000mph), towards Earth.

You then see the asteroid’s ominous black shadow blocking out sunlight as it travels over our planet.

As the asteroid starts to descend, it begins to incinerate - and upon impact it produces an enormous explosion.

The narrator says: “The crust of the Earth is peeled away like an orange skin.

“Huge chunks of debris the size of city blocks are hurled into the air.

“The shattered remains are hurled out into space, way beyond the atmosphere, to bombard the Earth with deadly intent when they re-enter.”

Yikes. We thought it would be bad - but that's a real hellscape.

The simulation then shows large rocks crashing into the Earth, causing further explosions upon impact, with the asteroid leaving an enormous crater.

This, the narrator somewhat horrifyingly says, is “just the start”.

He continues: “Moments after the impact, rock vapor the temperature of the sun begins to engulf the world.

“Could any life at all survive this impact?”

The video shows the bright orange rock vapor, described as “the wall of fire”, spreading out across the globe in all direction, destroying everything in its path.

Safe to say an asteroid hitting Earth would be pretty bad news for us.
Science Photo Library - ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI / Getty

Just 24 hours later, the entire planet is covered, and “every living plant or creature is vaporized”.

In case you didn't quite get the picture, the narrator adds: “Nothing is left untouched”.

More than 2,000 comments have been left under the video, showing mixed responses.

One wrote: "Absolutely incredible and terrifying, yet so damn beautiful”, while another said: “This is the scariest video I have ever seen, however it's so fascinatingly informative”.

According to NASA, asteroids, sometimes called minor planets, are rocky remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago.

The space agency says asteroids range in size from Vesta – the largest at about 329 miles (530 kilometers) in diameter – to bodies that are less than 33 feet (10 meters) across.

Let's just hope no asteroids are likely to come our way any time soon - as it's clear the consequences would be catastrophic.

Featured Image Credit: Discovery Channel