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    Petroglyphs and their meanings.

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    Earth Lady

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    Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Earth Lady on Tue 23 Feb 2010, 6:16 pm

    Recently Shelia,OR posted a picture of a Aurora pic from Finland. This Aurora has a spiral formation. When I look at this Aurora it reminds me of the spiral that made it's presence in Norway on December 9th, 2009. I'm creating this thread to study what meanings and stories or perhaps warnings that may be represented in the ancient Petroglyphs or role they play in our lives today.Please bear with me as this is new to me and I will be learning alongside you. If anyone has some information or findings please feel free to share them here. I believe we are living in some exciting times!

    First I'd like to define what Petroglyphs are.

    http://archaeology.about.com/od/pterms/g/petroglyphs.htm

    Definition: Petroglyphs are a form of prehistoric rock art found in many cultures around the world and at many times. They are made by carving, etching, incising, rubbing, and pounding the rock surface to create images. Petroglyphs are among the oldest form of art known to humans, and they are no doubt directly ancestral to the graffiti artists of today.


    You might be thinking what does Petroglyphs have to do with the Spiral in Norway or the Aurora Spiral in Finland. The answer lies in these Petroglyphs. What were are ancestors trying to tell us? More to come I love you
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    Sheila, Or.

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    ok, you've got me going now!

    Post  Sheila, Or. on Tue 23 Feb 2010, 10:48 pm

    it's definitely an interesting subject since spiral forms are so numerous in the shapes of galaxies, etc. Petroglyphs certainly are full of great examples of spirals. Most Archeo-astronomers believe that ancient cultures were far more tied to the skies than we now know. If you do a google image search on "ancient spiral petroglyphs, you'll see many examples.
    In Yoga, Kundalini is in a spiral shape like a coiled snake at the base of the spine which rises through the chakras as we progress spiritually.
    Interestingly enough, the Hippocratic oath has as it's symbol, 2 coiled snakes, so similar to how Kundalini is depicted. Most of us already know this stuff but for the sake of reviewing:



    Anyway, I just have to post this pic of barred spiral galaxy M95 since this is the Skywatcher's bd . It is so beautif, it's a must see.

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    Nightmoves

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Nightmoves on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 2:51 am

    I think I may have stumbled on to something and I am putting this out there for an opinion. If you look at that spiral aurora over Finland that was posted, it looks like the Petroglyphs that have been found all over the world. Now if you were an ancient civilization seeing this in the sky wouldn't you make note of it. I think this is what they saw and they are letting us know that it will be seen again in 2012. Now as I am aware that this is caused by solar flares. How big of a flare are we talking about that would cause an aurora to be seen everywhere on the planet? Anyone know? Do you think this could be it??
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    Earth Lady

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Earth Lady on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 4:56 am

    Nightmoves wrote:I think I may have stumbled on to something and I am putting this out there for an opinion. If you look at that spiral aurora over Finland that was posted, it looks like the Petroglyphs that have been found all over the world. Now if you were an ancient civilization seeing this in the sky wouldn't you make note of it. I think this is what they saw and they are letting us know that it will be seen again in 2012. Now as I am aware that this is caused by solar flares. How big of a flare are we talking about that would cause an aurora to be seen everywhere on the planet? Anyone know? Do you think this could be it??

    That certainly is a possibilty, I think it's a plasma ejection involving the the sun and some other things and you're right people saw them everywhere prior to the ELE and yes I feel something big is on it's way and will be a ELE event. We are in for some trouble the question is how soon. I have another conjecture that I want to share but first I want to share some information that will explain where I'm coming from. Thanks Nightmoves I believe you are on to something!
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    Earth Lady

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Earth Lady on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 4:58 am

    Sheila, Or. wrote:it's definitely an interesting subject since spiral forms are so numerous in the shapes of galaxies, etc. Petroglyphs certainly are full of great examples of spirals. Most Archeo-astronomers believe that ancient cultures were far more tied to the skies than we now know. If you do a google image search on "ancient spiral petroglyphs, you'll see many examples.
    In Yoga, Kundalini is in a spiral shape like a coiled snake at the base of the spine which rises through the chakras as we progress spiritually.
    Interestingly enough, the Hippocratic oath has as it's symbol, 2 coiled snakes, so similar to how Kundalini is depicted. Most of us already know this stuff but for the sake of reviewing:



    Anyway, I just have to post this pic of barred spiral galaxy M95 since this is the Skywatcher's bd . It is so beautif, it's a must see.


    Interesting information! Thanks Shelia!
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    Nightmoves

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Nightmoves on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 7:50 am

    I found this on the Internet regarding auroras in California. It seems there have been some, so it could be possible for something like that to happen.


    Nov. 5 - 6, 2001 Aurora Gallery
    back to spaceweather.com


    Summary: A fast-moving coronal mass ejection (CME) that raced away from the Sun on Nov. 4th swept past our planet at 0150 UT on Nov 6th (8:50 p.m. EST on Nov 5th); the impact triggered a widespread geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers in many US states -- including Tennessee, Alabama, the Carolinas, Florida, Texas and California -- reported vivid red and green auroras.
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    Earth Lady

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Earth Lady on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 5:16 pm

    Nightmoves wrote:I found this on the Internet regarding auroras in California. It seems there have been some, so it could be possible for something like that to happen.


    Nov. 5 - 6, 2001 Aurora Gallery
    back to spaceweather.com


    Summary: A fast-moving coronal mass ejection (CME) that raced away from the Sun on Nov. 4th swept past our planet at 0150 UT on Nov 6th (8:50 p.m. EST on Nov 5th); the impact triggered a widespread geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers in many US states -- including Tennessee, Alabama, the Carolinas, Florida, Texas and California -- reported vivid red and green auroras.

    Good point~ Now we would have to determine scientifically if this were to occur what if anything would it do to disrupt the earth?
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    Nightmoves

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Nightmoves on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 5:35 pm

    I don't believe auroras can disrupt the earth, but possibly some other conditions happening at the time, as well. The spiral could just be a sign or a warning somehow. I don't think this is an easy task, it's like putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Getting one piece at a time.

    This is the first piece of the puzzle. I have been wondering what could be experienced or seen by ancient civilizations all over the earth, that could cause documentation of a spiral, carved on rocks, all over the earth. Until now, I have not come up with anything. But, when I saw the spiral aurora, I wondered if this was what the ancients saw. Something so beautiful would be worth documenting. Like we would run for our cameras. It is just a thought, but it has triggered my imagination once again to these spiral petroglyphs.

    It could also be a warning as to, when you see this sign in the sky, something else will happen.
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    LindaMarie

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  LindaMarie on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 5:53 pm

    The Anastazi used petroglyphs to record that they had observed the supernova that formed the Crab Nebula. A petroglyph at Chaco Canyon shows what appears to be a crescent moon and a very bright star.

    There was also a recent episode of UFO Hunters where they were checking out petroglyphs that they believe were done to record visitors from outer space. These petroglyphs also contained spirals and apparently spiral petroglyphs can be found throughout the world.
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    Earth Lady

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    Part Two: Spiral Symbolism

    Post  Earth Lady on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 6:10 pm

    Since the focus of this thread is on Spiral Petroglyphs, I would like to take an opportunity to explain by past research and exhaustive studies what conclusions were drawn as to what they meant, their symbolism. Depending on where these petroglyphs are depends on the explanation. Here are a few examples:


    http://www.wcp-nm.com/rockart/glyphs05.htm

    Symbolisms
    The inevitable question that arises whenever anyone views petroglyphs or other rock art is: What do these symbols mean? So simple as this question appears at face value, it is a volatile question to many. Sparking controversy and often, heated conversations. With as many answers of glyphic interpretation as there are viewers and associated opinions.
    For years, I was always told that the spiral shape, eg:signified water. A 1994 documentary on the Indians of the Southwest makes mention of this as fact several times throughout the film. I for one always thought it strange that certain petroglyph sites I've visited, including the El Cerro de Los Lunas site (commonly referred to here as the Los Lunas site), and the North and South sites addressed herein, contained so many of these symbols. When the location of the spirals themselves are located so far away from actual water sources. For example, at the Los Lunas site, it is nearly 5 miles from the Rio Grande River to the petroglyphs. The petroglyph site featured in this article at its closest point to water (the Rio San Jose) is still over 2 miles away. In the greatest concentration of spiral markings ---at the South site location--- it makes the Rio San Jose about 9 miles away, and the Rio Puerco approximately 15 miles distant. With no particular indicator symbols associated with the spirals, to point in the right direction of the water source.

    But nearly every book I've read about petroglyphs, associates the spiral markings to symbols of the solstice, emergence, migrations, whirlwinds, and creatures associated with water. Such as snails or serpents. And these interpretations are subject to which particular era and people left the symbol (ie: style/age of petroglyph) and, what other markings or subtleties may be in context with a particular spiral symbol.

    Taking an educated guess at the meaning of this particular spiral petroglyph at the South site, it would be that the symbol supports the emergence or migration theory. The squared "tail" may indicate the direction taken by the creator of the petroglyph or, perhaps the direction from which they came in their search for the "center."


    the spiral markings to symbols of the solstice, emergence, migrations, whirlwinds, and creatures associated with water.[b]

    The Hopi Indians also represented spirals. The assumption was that they were drawing their woven baskets.
    http://azorion.tripod.com/spiral.htm

    So lets say that the ancient spiral petroglyphs all over the world represent symbols of the solstice, emergence, migrations, whirlwinds, and creatures associated with water. How do you explain the recent spirals that have been observed in the skies?

    No matter what culture's drawings, be it African, European, Australian,Hopi, Aztec, etc.. you see the spiral is there and it's represented in the sky, just like what we are seeing today. Prior to the latest developments researchers had nothing to go on but cultural assumptions, now with the spirals appearing in sky's we have to revamp our thinking. My own feelings is that these spirals were a warning a pre curser for an ELE event. Could this be? Why are the Petroglyphs found only in the mountains? There are illustrations shows people running to the hills and goats high in the mountains, what you see below are sea creatures and, in some upside down people, as if floating in the water.

    The question that we have to ask ourselves is what causing these spirals and what will be the result of these signs and wonders be? As we take this journey open you're mind to the many possibilities, some that may not be so comforting.
    [/color][/color]
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    Nightmoves

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Nightmoves on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 6:14 pm

    LindaMarie wrote:The Anastazi used petroglyphs to record that they had observed the supernova that formed the Crab Nebula. A petroglyph at Chaco Canyon shows what appears to be a crescent moon and a very bright star.

    Could it also be documentation of a crescent moon, a star and a spiral aurora? Idea

    There was also a recent episode of UFO Hunters where they were checking out petroglyphs that they believe were done to record visitors from outer space. These petroglyphs also contained spirals and apparently spiral petroglyphs can be found throughout the world.


    As these are documented all over the world, could it be documentation of a spiral aurora which appeared all over the planet, prior to a certain event?

    After seeing that spiral aurora, I am wondering if this might be what they saw? Just some food for thought, so to speak. scratch


    I am just throwing these thoughts out there to see if anyone else thinks this is possible. As we don't know first hand what they were documenting, I am just thinking outside the box. sunny
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    Nightmoves

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Nightmoves on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 6:26 pm

    Earth Lady wrote:Since the focus of this thread is on Spiral Petroglyphs, I would like to take an opportunity to explain by past research and exhaustive studies what conclusions were drawn as to what they meant, their symbolism. Depending on where these petroglyphs are depends on the explanation. Here are a few examples:


    http://www.wcp-nm.com/rockart/glyphs05.htm

    Symbolisms
    The inevitable question that arises whenever anyone views petroglyphs or other rock art is: What do these symbols mean? So simple as this question appears at face value, it is a volatile question to many. Sparking controversy and often, heated conversations. With as many answers of glyphic interpretation as there are viewers and associated opinions.
    For years, I was always told that the spiral shape, eg:signified water. A 1994 documentary on the Indians of the Southwest makes mention of this as fact several times throughout the film. I for one always thought it strange that certain petroglyph sites I've visited, including the El Cerro de Los Lunas site (commonly referred to here as the Los Lunas site), and the North and South sites addressed herein, contained so many of these symbols. When the location of the spirals themselves are located so far away from actual water sources. For example, at the Los Lunas site, it is nearly 5 miles from the Rio Grande River to the petroglyphs. The petroglyph site featured in this article at its closest point to water (the Rio San Jose) is still over 2 miles away. In the greatest concentration of spiral markings ---at the South site location--- it makes the Rio San Jose about 9 miles away, and the Rio Puerco approximately 15 miles distant. With no particular indicator symbols associated with the spirals, to point in the right direction of the water source.

    But nearly every book I've read about petroglyphs, associates the spiral markings to symbols of the solstice, emergence, migrations, whirlwinds, and creatures associated with water. Such as snails or serpents. And these interpretations are subject to which particular era and people left the symbol (ie: style/age of petroglyph) and, what other markings or subtleties may be in context with a particular spiral symbol.

    Taking an educated guess at the meaning of this particular spiral petroglyph at the South site, it would be that the symbol supports the emergence or migration theory. The squared "tail" may indicate the direction taken by the creator of the petroglyph or, perhaps the direction from which they came in their search for the "center."


    the spiral markings to symbols of the solstice, emergence, migrations, whirlwinds, and creatures associated with water.[b]

    The Hopi Indians also represented spirals. The assumption was that they were drawing their woven baskets.
    http://azorion.tripod.com/spiral.htm

    So lets say that the ancient spiral petroglyphs all over the world represent symbols of the solstice, emergence, migrations, whirlwinds, and creatures associated with water. How do you explain the recent spirals that have been observed in the skies?

    No matter what culture's drawings, be it African, European, Australian,Hopi, Aztec, etc.. you see the spiral is there and it's represented in the sky, just like what we are seeing today. Prior to the latest developments researchers had nothing to go on but cultural assumptions, now with the spirals appearing in sky's we have to revamp our thinking. My own feelings is that these spirals were a warning a pre curser for an ELE event. Could this be? Why are the Petroglyphs found only in the mountains? There are illustrations shows people running to the hills and goats high in the mountains, what you see below are sea creatures and, in some upside down people, as if floating in the water.

    The question that we have to ask ourselves is what causing these spirals and what will be the result of these signs and wonders be? As we take this journey open you're mind to the many possibilities, some that may not be so comforting.
    [/color][/color]

    I don't know, I have never really accepted the idea that the spirals were water. I am not really a great artist, but do love art and drawing (the best I can do anyways). To me, a spiral does not look like a wave. A wave starts at the bottom and swoops up and curls. Even a child can draw a wave. I give these people more credit at drawing, then saying a spiral is a wave. But that is just my opinion.

    But, what I do think they might be saying is when the spiral appeared in the sky, a great wave came and caused flooding, etc. etc.
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    LaLuna

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  LaLuna on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 7:22 pm

    This is a fascinating subject to me, too! Just read through the thread, and of course I had to go hunt down the aurora picture (and then email it to all my friends!)

    First: ELE? I'm not familiar with that abbreviation. Could somebody enlighten me?

    One thought I had right away is that in Reiki, the energy that is channeled is depicted as moving in a spiral. In fact, the symbol for "healing hands" is a hand with a spiral on the palm.

    I also thought of the many Celtic sites that have spirals. To me, and I'm not sure where I got this idea, it's always had the connotation of a connection with the Other Side... A portal, perhaps.

    I guess (depending on your religious beliefs), most of us believe that everything is created and sustained by a Creator. Perhaps the spiral represents the flow of energy that sustains us? In my mind, that energy would have to come from outside of our known universe, since everything we see and know is actually part of the creation. The Creator has to exist in a place outside of or above that. Just my personal beliefs.

    I remember reading something awhile back about petroglyphs depicting some kind of event that was apparently seen worldwide. I'll have to think about that for awhile, and see if I can remember where I read it. As I recall, it wasn't a spiral shape in that instance.

    Carole
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    Nightmoves

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Nightmoves on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 8:12 pm

    LaLuna wrote:This is a fascinating subject to me, too! Just read through the thread, and of course I had to go hunt down the aurora picture (and then email it to all my friends!)

    First: ELE? I'm not familiar with that abbreviation. Could somebody enlighten me?

    One thought I had right away is that in Reiki, the energy that is channeled is depicted as moving in a spiral. In fact, the symbol for "healing hands" is a hand with a spiral on the palm.

    I also thought of the many Celtic sites that have spirals. To me, and I'm not sure where I got this idea, it's always had the connotation of a connection with the Other Side... A portal, perhaps.

    I guess (depending on your religious beliefs), most of us believe that everything is created and sustained by a Creator. Perhaps the spiral represents the flow of energy that sustains us? In my mind, that energy would have to come from outside of our known universe, since everything we see and know is actually part of the creation. The Creator has to exist in a place outside of or above that. Just my personal beliefs.

    I remember reading something awhile back about petroglyphs depicting some kind of event that was apparently seen worldwide. I'll have to think about that for awhile, and see if I can remember where I read it. As I recall, it wasn't a spiral shape in that instance.

    Carole

    One thing for sure, it gets our minds a thinking. scratch study scratch study

    lol!
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    Vim/PA

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Vim/PA on Thu 25 Feb 2010, 5:02 am

    A fascinating thread to be sure.

    I'll just throw this in here, but is it possible the spiral was something seen or know from a spiritual dimension.
    Like something seen during vision quest or sun dance.
    I'm saying this because I had a reader tell me once that she read people by seeing their energies situated on a spiral above them.
    The person's story lined up on the spiral and she could see their whole story somehow.
    I haven't had the experience, so can't really describe it.
    Am just wondering if the spiral may be representing something not seen with physical eyes.

    And what about a stargate?

    Just some thoughts.

    Newspaper Rock - Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, AZ:
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    Nightmoves

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Nightmoves on Thu 25 Feb 2010, 5:22 am

    Vim/PA wrote:A fascinating thread to be sure.

    I'll just throw this in here, but is it possible the spiral was something seen or know from a spiritual dimension.
    Like something seen during vision quest or sun dance.
    I'm saying this because I had a reader tell me once that she read people by seeing their energies situated on a spiral above them.
    The person's story lined up on the spiral and she could see their whole story somehow.
    I haven't had the experience, so can't really describe it.
    Am just wondering if the spiral may be representing something not seen with physical eyes.

    And what about a stargate?

    Just some thoughts.

    Newspaper Rock - Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, AZ:

    Now that is a cool picture of spirals.

    You know Vim, anything is possible. The only thing we know for a fact, is they are in different places, all over the world. It must have been something very important.

    I really was taken back by that spiral aurora in the sky, and it started me thinking. So it looks like I was not the only one this happened to. Wink It is good that we put out our opinions so we can look at this from different perspectives. I just love this kind of stuff and will try to do some research and post different ideas as well. I hope this thread brings some more new light to these fascinating spirals.

    Thank you Earth Lady for starting it. I also would like to know what an ELE is?
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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

    Post  Vim/PA on Thu 25 Feb 2010, 6:07 am

    This may be related...
    In looking around I found this page at youTube.
    Had not heard of this film but was totally impressed with the sections presented.
    The circle is also a prominent, recurring petroglyph around the world.
    As well as the stick figure with the dots beside him.
    These three clips address the possibility that our planets were aligned differently.
    And then some cataclysm tore them apart.
    The gods have planet names.
    Perhaps their myths are a way of relating what happened in the skies overhead.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1CAB005C3DDFD00B

    Totally fascinating!!!!
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    LaLuna

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    Crystalinks

    Post  LaLuna on Thu 25 Feb 2010, 6:19 am

    Crystalinks is usually a good resource, and she has an entire page devoted to petroglyphs. Reading it now...

    http://www.crystalinks.com/petroglyphs.html

    Sometimes I wonder, though, if the reason these simple "drawings" are similar all over the world is that there are only so many shapes you can carve into a rock. In other words, it's possible that though the forms are similar, they meant different things to different people.

    There was some amount of interaction between the different civilizations, though, so it's also likely that there would be some common meanings. Speculating again... And rambling! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes geek

    Carole
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    LaLuna

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    Quoted from Crystalinks

    Post  LaLuna on Thu 25 Feb 2010, 6:23 am

    Some researchers have noticed the resemblance of different styles of petroglyphs across different continents; while it is expected that all people would be inspired by their surroundings, it is harder to explain the common styles. This could be mere coincidence, an indication that certain groups of people migrated widely from some initial common area, or indication of a common origin.

    In 1853 George Tate read a paper to the Berwick Naturalists' Club at which a Mr John Collingwood Bruce agreed that the carvings had '.. a common origin, and indicate a symbolic meaning, representing some popular thought.' In his cataloguing of Scottish rock art, Ronald Morris summarised 104 different theories on their interpretation.

    Other, more controversial, explanations are mostly grounded in Jungian psychology and the views of Mircea Eliade. According to these theories it is possible that the similarity of petroglyphs (and other atavistic or archetypal symbols) from different cultures and continents is a result of the genetically inherited structure of the human brain.

    Other theories suggest that petroglyphs were made by shamans in an altered state of consciousness, perhaps induced by the use of natural hallucinogens. Many of the geometric patterns (known as form constants) which recur in petroglyphs and cave paintings have been shown to be "hard-wired" into the human brain; they frequently occur in visual disturbances and hallucinations brought on by drugs, migraine and other stimuli.
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    LaLuna

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    More about the spiral form

    Post  LaLuna on Thu 25 Feb 2010, 6:46 am

    Good article about sacred geometry:

    http://www.crystalinks.com/sg.html

    And some great pics of the spiral in nature here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_geometry

    Carole study
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    Earth Lady

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    Today we are addressing ELE!

    Post  Earth Lady on Thu 25 Feb 2010, 5:40 pm

    WOW! Ladies You're fabulous! Thanks for making this thread an intellectual journey. It's amazing to see all the different philosophy's! cheers

    Today I will be going off track and talk about the question on some of you're minds!

    What is an ELE and what does it have to do with the recent Norway Spiral and the Spiral Aurora seen in Finland? Based on the research that I've done on the Petroglyphs, I have found that these ancient drawings are 3,600 to 4,000 years old. The last ELE was approximately 3,600 years ago and these ancients depicted in their drawings the infamous spiral and what looks like mass flooding. We are currently in the 3,600 year cycle. We are seeing signs in the sky. The same signs. The Spirals! This topic is definately up for debate. So chime in and let me know you're thoughts! Question of the day: What were the the last five ELE's that occurred?


    What is an ELE?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event

    An extinction event (also known as: mass extinction; extinction-level event, ELE, or biotic crisis) is a sharp decrease in the diversity and abundance of macroscopic life. They occur when the rate of extinction increases with respect to the rate of speciation. Because the majority of diversity and biomass on earth is microbial, and thus difficult to measure, mass extinctions have little effect on the total diversity and abundance of life, but rather affect the easily observed component of the biosphere.[1]
    Over 97% of species that ever lived are now extinct, but extinction occurs at an uneven rate. Based on the fossil record, the background rate of extinctions on Earth is about two to five taxonomic families of marine invertebrates and vertebrates every million years. Marine fossils are mostly used to measure extinction rates because of their superior fossil record and stratigraphic range compared to land organisms.
    Since life began on Earth, several major mass extinctions have significantly exceeded the background extinction rate. The most recent, the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, occurred 65 million years ago, and has attracted more attention than all others as it marks the extinction of nearly all dinosaur species, which were the dominant animal class of the period. In the past 540 million years there have been five major events when over 50% of animal species died. There probably were mass extinctions in the Archean and Proterozoic Eons, but before the Phanerozoic there were no animals with hard body parts to leave a significant fossil record.
    Estimates of the number of major mass extinctions in the last 540 million years range from as few as five to more than twenty. These differences stem from the threshold chosen for describing an extinction event as "major", and the data chosen to measure past diversity.





    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A207415

    An extinction level event is a catastrophic occurrence which has the potential to terminate entire species of animals and plants: eg, to cause a mass extinction. Such events are decidedly rare, but geological evidence shows that they have happened on many occasions since multicellular life became abundant on the planet almost a billion years ago.

    This Entry does not attempt to catalogue the great extinction events of the past, but instead lists out the types of events that, were they to happen, could precipitate extinctions on a massive scale, including perhaps the discontinuation of the human race. Probabilities of occurrence are also included, lest we feel compelled to drill big holes in mountains to minimise exposure to Gamma Ray Bursts.

    Human extinction, or for us, the 'End of the World', has been a common theme in literature, religious and scientific thought since time immemorial. Television documentaries revel in informing us of our impending doom as a race, and extinction worries tend to follow fashions and fads which are closely linked to the major preoccupation of society at any one time.

    Higher Probability Events (Hundreds of Years)

    Nuclear War

    Humanity is unique among the Earth's fauna for its ability to have devised, through technological means, the ability to wipe itself out quickly. The mechanism is nuclear fusion: ironically the exact same process that powers the Sun - the ultimate source of all life on Earth. In the mid-20th Century this power was harnessed and weaponised, and after World War II vast stockpiles of weapons were built up by Russia, the USA and China as a means of maintaining an uneasy peace between these world powers. In more recent times, many other countries have acquired or amassed nuclear weapons.

    Nuclear bombs have been built1 that are 3,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb of 1945. While death in the immediate vicinity of a blast is nearly a certainty2 humanity itself could be threatened if a significant amount of dust from the explosions and their resultant firestorms were blown into the stratosphere. Less sunlight would reach the surface of the Earth, resulting in a 'nuclear winter' which would devastate plant growth on a worldwide basis, collapsing the food chain as a result.

    Worldwide Pestilence

    One of humanity's greatest threats is from enemies we cannot see, hear or smell; who can build up vast armies within days; and who can rapidly take advantage of the weaknesses of their adversaries. These enemy are disease microbes.

    In 1346, the Black Death arrived in Europe, quickly taking away nearly a quarter of the population of the continent. It reappeared on a regular basis for centuries afterwards, exacting huge death tolls each time. In 1918 a strain of influenza appeared, killing 50 million people within a year. Diseases such as measles and smallpox had a devastating effect on the native inhabitants of America after it was discovered by Europeans. New diseases such as AIDS and Ebola have caused mayhem in recent times. New strains of influenza and diseases such as variant CJD lurk threateningly in the background. Even worse, old diseases of the past such as TB, are developing a resistance to even our most powerful antibiotics. Certain diseases such as anthrax have been weaponised and could be released in vast quantities should someone have the inclination and means to do so.

    Climate Change

    Records collected from ice cores and deep-sea sediment have shown that the world's climate can change dramatically, often within the timeframe of a few decades, leading to dramatic consequences. This is particularly a concern for our age, considering the amount of fossil fuel that has been burned since the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th Century. Scientific research amassed over the past 20 years links this increase in greenhouse gases to an above-normal increase in world temperatures.

    Climate change, whether natural or man-made, could cause mass extinctions. In some habitats it could lead to extensive droughts in places once fertile, or tundra conditions where flowing water was once abundant. If it occurs fast enough, many plants may find that they cannot survive, leading to their destruction before new habitats can be found. If these plants are food for animals, the survival of these animals is also threatened, and so on up the food chain.

    We human depend on a relatively small number of highly cultivated strains of crops and vegetables for many of our basic foodstuffs. A rapid change in climate could decimate these food sources, triggering famines. Loss of land due to rapid sea-level increases would put further stress on living conditions, leading to mass-migration and potentially, war. Furthermore, ever-adaptable microbes might find new territories to start new assaults on humanity. Not necessarily species threatening, but not very nice at the same time.

    Habitat Destruction

    Perhaps we are currently living through a mass-extinction, caused by none other than ourselves? We humans, ever since we have invented the technology to batter other animals over the heads with sticks, have already seen off plenty of other species of animals, the dodo3 being the most famous. Not only that, but as our numbers increase, the populations of other plants and animals decrease due to habitat loss. The World Conservation Union announced in 2003 that of 40,000 species assessed, 12% of all birds, 13% of flowering plants, and 25% of all mammals faced an extinction risk.

    Medium Probability Events (Thousands of Years)

    The Return of the Ice Age

    Technically speaking, we are still in the Ice Age. The last 12,000 years is part of a warm period (an interstadial), which sooner or later will end with the onset of a new cold-phase (a stadial). That's how the Ice Age has worked, alternating between warmth and cold many times since its onset some two million years ago. A returning deep freeze would kill all but the hardiest plants in the affected zones. There would be large-scale climate change across the world putting stress on all animal and plant populations. The onsets of warmth and cold also tend to occur quite rapidly, leading to even greater stress. At the very end of the last cold spell, many large animals such as the Woolly Mammoth, the Giant Sloth and the Great Irish Deer disappeared, never to return.

    There is some speculation that the current warming period and subsequent diminution of the Greenland ice cap could precipitate the closing down of the North Atlantic Current, causing an Ice Age to re-assert itself within years. This is a subject of great debate amongst scientists.

    Supervolcanoes

    Scientists in Yellowstone Park recently discovered something very worrying. They realised that the entire park is an enormous volcanic caldera, and that it has erupted with devastating consequences on a regular basis every 600,000 years or so4. The potential force of the blast would be tremendous, some 1,000 cubic kilometres of material being propelled into the atmosphere, resulting in a catastrophic drop in temperatures across the globe.

    The most recent supervolcano to erupt was Toba in Indonesia, some 70,000 years ago. Scientists reckon it may have come very close to killing off all humans as there is a distinct genetic 'pinch' in our DNA5 which has been attributed to this time. There is another dormant supervolcano, Taupo, in New Zealand.

    Magnetic Pole Reversal

    Analyses of iron crystals in rock show that the Earth has changed its magnetic pole6 on many occasions, averaging 200,000 years. A magnetic flip is not a sudden occurrence. It can take thousands of years to complete. While there is no correlation between a reversal and mass extinctions, reversals do involve a significant weakening of the protective magnetic field around the planet. This could expose many animals and plants to above-normal exposure of damaging solar and cosmic rays at certain times. The last reversal was over 700,000 years ago, and we are long overdue another magnetic flip. Some scientists believe that one is already happening, as the Earth's magnetic field has weakened in recent decades. Bottom line: nothing to worry about (we think).

    Low Probability Events (Millions of Years)

    Bolide Impact

    It is now well known that the Earth is not moving through purely empty space. Our planet shares its orbit around the Sun with thousands of other bodies, many small, some very big indeed. On occasion, one of these big objects crash into the planet, triggering mass extinctions on a global scale. The last time an impact of this size occurred was 65 million years ago, when a 10km sized object, travelling at a speed of 30km per second, hit the region of Yucatán peninsula in Mexico. It is believed to have contributed to the rapid demise of the dinosaurs, who had previously been around in one form or another for a whopping 170 million years.

    Flood Basalts

    Interestingly, the demise of the dinosaurs co-incides with a lesser-known catastropic event. As the super-continent Pangaea slowly ripped itself apart to form the current continents, large cracks developed on the crust in the areas of rupture exposing the atmosphere to the underlying mantle. In the region of western India, an area known to geologists as the Deccan Traps, basaltic magma and noxious gases were released in vast quantities. The living conditions of plants and animals worldwide would have been degraded substantially by this event. Flood Basalts in an area known as the Siberian Traps are also associated with the worst mass-extinction in geologic history: the Permo-Triassic extinction some 250 million years ago. This particular extinction killed off 90% of all marine species and 70% of all land species.

    Supernovae

    A supernova is an explosion that occurs when a very large star collapses under its own gravity, leaving a small, dense neutron star in its wake. A supernova in the Milky Way is a rare occurrence by human standards7 - happening once every 400 years or so. For a few days, it would outshine every other object in the galaxy. It might even be possible to see it during daytime. One effect of a supernova is the high velocity emission of gases and particles formed from within the star. Were the solar system to collide with this debris field, it is envisaged that the Heliosphere - the protective electrically charged region around the Sun and the planets - would contract in size, potentially exposing the Earth to harmful cosmic rays. A more ominous threat would be from vast clouds of rocks and metals moving at high speed through the solar system. A few very large stars8 exist close to the Sun, but even if they went supernova tomorrow it would take thousands of years for their debris fields to reach the Earth. The current threat is not seen as significant.

    Runaway Greenhouse

    In the 'runaway greenhouse' scenario, the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reaches a point where more heat is trapped in the atmosphere than can be radiated back out into space. The result is a unstoppable temperature rise over a period of years or tens of years, which would be sufficient to wipe out most forms of life very quickly. Our neighbouring planet, Venus, is affected by this phenomenon, with temperatures on the surface high enough to melt lead, and the rain is sulphuric acid.

    The Earth's seas contain large quantities of gas hydrates, a type of water-methane crystal pinioned to the ocean floors by water pressure. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas. It is theorised that if water temperatures were to increase, these hydrates could release methane gas into the atmosphere, potentially triggering a runaway greenhouse. Many people believe that the current sustained levels of fossil fuel burning could also lead to a runaway greenhouse effect over time.

    Very Low Probability Events (Billions of Years)

    Snowball Earth

    An unstoppable cooling effect is also possible to the extent that the entire globe would be covered in ice. Were an ice age to be severe enough, the increased albedo, whereby energy is reflected back into space by white ice and clouds, would cause the temperature of the Earth to drop precipitously. Some geologists think that the Earth may have gone through such a phase around 800 million years ago. Factors such as extreme volcanism, the energy output of the Sun and even the position of the continents on the planet are hypothesised to contribute to the onset of such an effect.

    Gamma Ray Bursts

    Some stars are believed to be so massive that when they collapse they emit incredibly high levels of gamma rays, the most energetic (and dangerous) form of radiation9. Astronomers detect the signatures of these hypernova events by monitoring the levels of gamma rays hitting the Earth. Sudden, short-lived increases in gamma ray activity have come to be known as Gamma Ray Bursts or GRBs. Were a GRB to be directed at our Sun from a star within the Milky Way it would completely irradiate the planet, destroying all forms of life on it. Some scientists think that GRBs are a remnant from an earlier part of the Universe's history, and not something associated with our present galaxy. However, there is recent evidence of GRBs from galaxies much closer to home10. Some scientists suggest that the Ordovician mass extinction 450 million years ago was caused by a GRB.

    Solar Expansion

    As the Sun uses up all its hydrogen fuel, the result is a gradual increase in size. This process will continue until, around five billion years from now, the Sun will be truly vast - 100 million miles across - encompassing the entire orbit of the Earth. Life will have been extinguished on our planet long before that, as the seas boil off and all gas is blown away from the Earth due to the action of solar storms. In fact it is estimated that in a mere one billion years from now, the temperature of the Earth will be similar to present-day Venus.

    Planetary Impact

    It just so happens that the Earth has been involved in at least one major collision with a large planet sized body. The evidence of this impact is right above our heads, orbiting our world every 28 days. The Moon is a chunk of ancient Earth ejected into space as a result of a collision with a body around the same size as Mars. This collision occurred 4.5 billion years ago when the solar system was in its infancy. Since then, luckily for us, things have settled down, and we are now under no threat from our Moon11 or any of our planetary neighbours.

    Other Events (but Interesting Nonetheless)

    Alien Invasion

    If you watch the movies, or read enough science fiction, this one is bound to tickle your fancy. The Universe is a big place, and with the recent discovery of planetary systems around neighbouring stars the odds have shortened somewhat that life, and even alien civilisations, could exist even in our own galaxy. However, to destroy life on the planet they would need the ability to cross vast distances in space first of all, a tricky proposition12. Alien doomsday scenarios come in many forms, from hyperaggressive monsters, to alien viruses, to a multi-craft invasions, to a single mother ship, to rapid evolution following arrival, to the demolition of the planet by alien bureaucrats in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass13.

    Robot Takeover

    This is extinction with a twist. In this scenario, we humans create our technological replacements, only to be rewarded by rapid extinction when our creations turn on us. Another nightmare possibility is that envisioned by nanotechnology, where tiny robots, no more than a few atoms in size, replicate themselves with incredible speed, turning the world and everything on it into a 'grey goo'14.

    Last Judgement

    Many religions have a doomsday scenario: the return of God to the world where the good people are separated from the evil ones. In one version of this account known as the Rapture, the good people are spirited away from the Earth just before things start getting really bad. In the Biblical account of the Last Judgement, the End of the World is preceded by War, Conquest, Pestilence and Famine, the so-called 'Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse'.

    Time Travel Slip-ups

    In this account, humans develop the means to go back in time, whereupon we soon start making changes that have huge repercussions for the human race. In some versions, we step on a small mammal who just happens to be a distant ancestor. In other versions, it is the humans who kill off the dinosaurs: only for us to find that the same is done to us by creatures from our future.

    Selected Reading

    Alien Invasion/Intervention

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams). Earth gets blown up to make way for hyperspace bypass.

    The War of the Worlds (HG Wells).

    Childhood's End (Arthur C Clarke). Humans fuse with Overmind to become one single entity.

    The Forge of God / Anvil of God (Greg Bear). Humans are killed off by aliens through misdirection and self-replicating machines; a handful survive – most are bent on finding the killers (in Anvil of God).

    Creations of Mankind Gone Foul

    The Day of the Triffids (John Wyndham). Mutant, mobile plants, thanks to mankind's tinkering with genetics, terrorise the Earth, killing and eating humans.

    Red Dwarf: Backwards (Rob Grant). Agonoids, built by humans for the purpose of sport-killing, take revenge on their creators, wiping out all of humanity except for one man.

    Depression

    The End of Eternity (Isaac Asimov). Mankind destroys its own chance for interstellar travel by controlling its past, present and future; dies out in despair.

    Global Catastrophes

    A Wrinkle in the Skin (John Christopher). Earthquakes of epic proportions, of global scale, decimate the Earth.

    Hot Viruses, Superbugs and Plague

    The Third Pandemic (Pierre Oulette). A superbug is 'naturally' created when various dangerous bacteria exchange virulence and antibiotic-resistance genes.

    The Plague (Albert Camus). The return of the Bubonic Plague (well... It's not the end of mankind but...)

    The Stand (Stephen King). A rapidly-mutating virus accidentally released from a US military facility kills off most of the world population.

    The Andromeda Strain (Michael Crichton). Microbes from outer space!

    The Fourth Horseman (Alan Nourse). Bubonic plague.

    Some Will Not Die (Algis Budrys). Super-plague wipes out most of life on Earth.

    Eternity Road (Jack McDevitt). Plague wipes out most of humanity, destroys Earth.

    Earth Abides (George R Stewart). Pandemic wipes out all of Earth except one man.

    Nuclear (or Other) War

    The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury). Earth is destroyed by war. Two human families survive and escape to Mars.

    Walk to the End of the World (Suzy Mckee Charnas).

    The Foundation series (Isaac Asimov). Nuclear holocaust causes Earth to become radioactive; by which time mankind has travelled so far out in space that 'Earth' is nothing more than legend.

    This is the Way the World Ends (James Morrow). Nuclear holocaust.

    Alas, Babylon (Pat Frank). Nuclear holocaust.

    Fiskadoro (Denis Johnson). Yet more nuclear war.

    The Last Ship (William Brinkley). Nuclear war kills off all but 178 people, who are on a ship.

    Cosmic Catastrophes

    Shiva Descending (Gregory Benford). A hail of meteors bombard earth, caused by a giant 30 billion-ton comet.

    Moonseed (Stephen Baxter). A nanovirus that blew up Venus devastates Earth.

    Aftermath; Starfire (Charles Sheffield). A cosmic blast from the Alpha Centauri supernova decimates Earth.

    Rapture, Divine Intervention etc.

    The Nine Billion Names of God (Arthur C Clarke). Mankind discovers all nine billion names of God, thus achieving its ultimate destiny: bringing the world to an end (or so it is implied).

    Evolution and Natural Selection

    Darwin's Radio; Darwin's Children (Greg Bear). Retrovirus dormant in human genome for thousands of years wake up and transform foetuses into a genetically 'enhanced' super-human species.

    The Children of Men (PD James). People become infertile overnight causing population decline and threatening human existence.

    Greybeard (Brian Aldiss). Another variation on human infertility.

    Technology

    Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut). A scientist 'invents' a way of making water freeze at room temperature. Following an accident, all water on earth freezes.

    Oryx and Crake (Margaret Altwood). A mad scientist creates genetically-engineered hybrid humans to create a society that will live as one with nature; releases epidemic to kill off non-engineered humans – which leaves only one 'survivor' (who was intended as guardian of these creatures).

    1 The Tsar Bomba, built by the Soviet Union, had the equivalent power of 50 megatons of TNT. It was detonated over the island of Novaya Zemlya in 1961.
    2 Almost 50% of humans live in cities. If, as is likely, the main targets of a global nuclear war were cities, this in itself would have a devastating effect on the world population.
    3 The dodo, an inoffensive, ungainly bird, met a rapid demise when its eggs were eaten by pigs brought to the recently-discovered island of Mauritius to feed the original Dutch settlers.
    4 It so happens that the last Yellowstone eruption was a bit over 600,000 years ago, so another eruption might seem overdue. However, there are no indications that a blast is going to occur any time in the near future.
    5 Comparison of DNA from living people around the world indicates that we originate from just a few individuals, as if there was a large-scale catastrophe at one stage in human history.
    6 Magnetic North becomes Magnetic South.
    7 But not by astronomical standards: tens of thousands of supernovas will take place every million years.
    8 Such as Betelgeuse and Deneb.
    9 A typical GRB can emit radiation 100,000,000,000,000 times greater than our Sun. That's big.
    10 Two billion light years away. Not recent, but not 'old' either, compared to the estimated age of the Universe.
    11 In case you're wondering, the Moon is gradually travelling further away from the Earth.
    12 The motivation to destroy us is less difficult to imagine. Most travellers want to kick the first thing they see after a long journey - and that's after only a few hours.
    13 Courtesy of the co-creator of this site, Douglas Adams.
    14 First proposed by Eric Drexler, in his book 'Engines of Creation'.
    avatar
    Earth Lady

    Posts : 46
    Join date : 2010-02-18
    Age : 49
    Location : Montana

    You Tube ELE

    Post  Earth Lady on Thu 25 Feb 2010, 5:55 pm

    Thought you Ladies would find this video interesting!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHMY_A2Fuhg

    Star
    Guest

    The sky is pictured on the rocks

    Post  Star on Fri 26 Feb 2010, 3:47 am




    Plasma and elec. world ...The sky was different looking many many years ago....the sky is pictured on the rocks here on earth

    Star
    Guest

    Different Sky

    Post  Star on Fri 26 Feb 2010, 3:51 am

    avatar
    Earth Lady

    Posts : 46
    Join date : 2010-02-18
    Age : 49
    Location : Montana

    RE: ELE

    Post  Earth Lady on Fri 26 Feb 2010, 5:33 pm

    I can see that this subject wasn't very popular. Back to the spirals and petroglphys.

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    Re: Petroglyphs and their meanings.

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