Twinkling Of An Eye?

It’s not happening in the ‘twinkling of an eye’,
That’s the scariest thing,

Geologists describe 100,000 years,
As the ‘twinkling of an eye’;

It’s happening much faster than that,
β€”In decadesβ€”
Which is ten thousand times faster,
Than the twinkling of an eye;

How then,
To describe such a change?

I don’t know,
I’m struggling.

Nasa Earth Observatory. Astronaut photo taken from space of the geological K-T boundary layerβ€” the layer describing the rapid event which resulted in the previous mass extinction of life, including the dinosaurs. The K-T layer is the light-coloured (clay-rich) layer.

πŸŒͺ

3 thoughts on “Twinkling Of An Eye?

  1. Hi Robin, terrific and important poem. Obviously we all know how horribly our poor planet has been abused for nearly 100 years now, and any sensible person understands that we cannot go on like this. But can you tell me exactly what I am looking at in this NASA photo? Which part of the world is it and how widespread are these geological signs of possible extinction? If you know more about the context, I would be very interested to know.

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    1. Hi Ember, thanks a lot!

      Actually, the K-T boundary is just a layer of ash and clay from the asteroid/comet impact from 65 million years ago, which killed the dinosaurs. The fallout from it probably lasted a few decadesβ€” that same layer is found anywhere in the world where those geological strata are accessible. The speed of that change was why I compared the current-day changes to that, even though the cause is completely different. Comparing the speed of today’s changes to the asteroid impact is a better comparison than to the geological ‘blink of an eye’, when that term is used to describe anything up too 100k years, lol.

      You don’t usually get to see the K-T boundary layer from space. I used that photo to illustrate it just because it was such a novel way of viewing it. That photo was only possible because they are looking down on a series of geological layers exposed on a long, shallow slope, which effectively spreads out the layers. The more usual appearance of the K-T layer is like this:
      https://images.app.goo.gl/JAF6EWnkU6M1pJtf9

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    2. That layer also contains Iridiumβ€” which came from the asteroid and fell gradually from the atmosphere. I find that all very fascinating and eerie! The way we can piece together the evidence for such a cataclysmic event.

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