These civilizations would have existed many millions of years ago on Earth, to be precise nearly 60 million years ago. Now, scientists ask whether there’d be evidence of such civilizations existing on Earth.
If you take a look at the long history of our planet, you’ll see that nearly sixty million years ago, our planet experienced temperatures far warmer than today, and the planet’s poles melted.
This historical fact has led some scientists to venture out into the unknown and ponder whether it is possible that this event—the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)—is the result of global warming caused by a now existing civilization which existed on Earth before mankind.
And while this may sound as something that scientists wouldn’t really investigate, since, as Rob Waugh, Metro’s writer puts it: “It sounds like the kind of crackpot conspiracy to be found on ‘ancient alien’ UFO sites,” scientists have in fact ventured out of their ‘comfort zone’ and asked a question they’ve refrained from asking for decades.
In an article by the Atlantic, Adam Frank, a scientist from the University of Rochester asked what many other experts have refrained from asking.
Professor Frank writes: “There is a conundrum here. If an earlier species’ industrial activity is short-lived, we might not be able to easily see it. The PETM’s spikes mostly show us the Earth’s timescales for responding to whatever caused it, not necessarily the timescale of the cause.”
“So, it might take both dedicated and novel detection methods to find evidence of a truly short-lived event in ancient sediments. In other words, if you’re not explicitly looking for it, you might not see it.”
This isn’t just another conspiracy theory cooked up by a scientist.
Professor Frank wondered about what our civilization could leave behind if it perishes one day, and what other potential civilizations may find on Earth. Will they identify our civilization by the plastics we’ve dumped in the ocean? Will they find us because of the chemicals we’ve been using? Or will they find evidence of an ancient civilization on Earth prior to them because we’ve been using fossil fuels?
Professor Frank clarifies that while there is no evidence of an ancient advanced civilization existing on Earth before us, the idea brings up a number of possibilities regarding the cycle of life and how it may operate on other, distant alien worlds.
Professor Frank explains in the article that civilizations may inadvertently—through their collapse—create the necessary conditions to produce more fossil fuels, for future, distant civilization to use.
“Our work also opened up the speculative possibility that some planets might have fossil-fuel-driven cycles of civilization building and collapse. If a civilization uses fossil fuels, the climate change they trigger can lead to a large decrease in ocean oxygen levels.”
“These low oxygen levels (called ocean anoxia) help trigger the conditions needed for making fossil fuels like oil and coal in the first place. In this way, a civilization and its demise might sow the seed for new civilizations in the future.
By asking about civilizations lost in deep time, we’re also asking about the possibility for universal rules guiding the evolution of all biospheres in all their creative potential, including the emergence of civilizations. Even without pickup-driving Paleocenians, we’re only now learning to see how rich that potential might be.”
And as Waugh writes for Metro, here’s a crackpot conspiracy video for you to enjoy: (I wonder why Waugh writes so many conspiracy-related articles? Maybe he likes the crackpot conspiracy to be found on ‘ancient alien’ UFO sites, or maybe he just loves writing for popular sites like Metro, who not only post ridiculous articles but are apparently happy making revenue off of ‘Conspiracy’.