The 2011 tsunami that hit Japan killed nearly 16,000 people and is considered one of the biggest and most devastating in modern history. At its absolute apex, the waves were estimated to have been 130 feet high.
That’s fucking high.
But it ain’t got shit on the ancient mega-tsunamis that fucked up Mars.
Scientists at the Planetary Science Institute now believe that, 3.4 billion years ago, Mars was straight up wrecked by two tsunamis that reached over 400 feet in height.
Mega-tsunamis they call them, because fuck yea, they do.
[New] thermal images of the northern plains of Mars reveal what may be ancient scars left by two mega tsunamis about 3.4 billion years ago, researchers said. That was back when the Red Planet may have possessed a cold, salty, icy ocean.
The scientists did a detailed analysis of Martian topography, looking for tell-tale signs of tsunamis. They found a plenty.
The scientists examined ancient Martian shorelines for anomalies and discovered lobes modifying portions of these coasts. “Lobes are curved, roundish projections formed by deposits of sediments,” Fairén said.
The researchers suggested that the Martian lobes were caused by two giant tsunamis, which extended over a wide range of elevations, from gently sloping plains to cratered highlands. The older tsunami inundated an area about 309,000 square miles (800,000 square kilometers) in size, while the younger one drowned a region about 386,000 square miles (1 million sq. km) large, the researchers said.
And yes, they were metal as hell.
The older tsunami dragged boulders up to about 33 feet (10 meters) large along with it. As gravity rapidly pulled water from the wave back to where it came from, the water carved numerous channels ranging between up to about 655 feet (200 m) wide and about 12.4 miles (20 km) long. Similar channels are seen from the backwash of tsunamis on Earth, the researchers said.
In the time between the older and younger tsunami, the researchers said, the Martian climate apparently became significantly colder, since the second tsunami’s lobes were rich in ice.
The scientists best guess as to what caused these? Unlike earthquakes, which were the trigger for the most recent ones on Earth, they believe these massive tsunamis were the result of meteor strikes.
Could one of those happen here? Hell yea.
Watch: What Are The Chances An Asteroid Hits Earth?