Experts at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), in Australia, say that a large meteor that impacted our planet around 2.5 million years ago may have been responsible for the Ice Ages.
Thus far, scientists established that the collision caused a series of massive tsunamis, but the fact that it also caused a series of climate changes was previously unknown. The space rock, called the Eltanin meteor, is estimated to have been around 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) wide.
The impactor hit in the southern Pacific Ocean, which is why no visible crater was left behind, and also why the impact did not receive the attention it should have. The UNSW team says the collision caused tsunamis hundreds of meters high, which released massive amounts of vapor in the atmosphere.
Water vapor, sulfur and dust were kicked up in the air as the massive waves traveled inland. These chemicals contributed to accelerating an already-existent cooling trend, helping to bring about the Ice Ages, Astrobiology Magazine