A woolly mammoth meets a meteor strike

The Carolina Bays and the Destruction of North America

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This is an ancient and enduring mystery from pre-historic North America, involving geology, astronomy, climatology and zoology. And unravelling this mystery will tell us a great deal about our world, its history, its climate, its vulnerability, and possibly even our future.

This mystery centers on the enigmatic Carolina Bays, which are scattered over not just Carolina, but also Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Kansas and Nebraska. In fact, the latest population survey suggests there are more than 500,000 bays dotted across these states. And readers might be excused for asking "Carolina what?" because they are not exactly well known, despite their pivotal role in the formation of North America. And the reason for these bays flying under the popular education and media radar is that even to this day nobody seems to know what they are.

But I do....

Carolina Bays are elliptical depressions in sandy, sedimentary lands, which range from 50 meters (164 feet) to seven kilometers (four miles) across. And the strange thing about them is that they all have the same outline and they all face in the same direction. But what could make surface features all point in the same direction?

It was proposed by Prof Kaczorowski that they were wind-formed, over hundreds or thousands of years. But the equivalent parallel wind-formed lakes in Alaska are misshapen and all lie on low boggy ground. The Carolina Bays are all perfect clones of each other, and are spread across low and higher ground.

Fig 1. A false color image of the Carolina Bays using LIDAR height measuring technology. The Carolina Bays are all uniform in shape, and all line up in the same direction.

Fig 1. A false color image of the Carolina Bays using LIDAR height measuring technology. The Carolina Bays are all uniform in shape, and all line up in the same direction.  (Image 10 km x 7 km.) Image courtesy: North Carolina Department of Transport, LIDAR Flood Mapping Project.

But why anyone would suggest that these enigmatic Carolina Bays were wind formed is perplexing, because these bays have one other very peculiar but telling property - they all point towards the same source location. There are populations of bays in many states, as has already been explained, but all of these different populations point in different directions. And if we trace their various orientations we find that the vast majority of these Bay populations all point to and triangulate upon the center of the Great Lakes region.

In reality, they all point to the west of the Great Lakes region. But in a peculiar fit of academic ineptitude, nobody bothered to adjust this western focus-point for Coriolis effects - the apparent force that bends the flight of projectiles to the right in the northern hemisphere. Coriolis is caused by the spin of the Earth and it effects everything from the flight of military shells to the spiraling motion of hurricanes, which always spin anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. This gaping chasm in the study of the Carolina Bays was not addressed until about 2010, when Michael Davias recalculated the bay orientations taking into account not only the Coriolis angle-change, but also making a further allowance for the impact drift-angle. Having done so, it would appear that all of the many Bay populations point at the center of the Great Lakes.

Fig 2. The different populations of Bays all have different orientations. But it we extend those orientations, most of them focus on the center of the Great Lakes.

Fig 2. The different populations of Bays all have different orientations. But it we extend those orientations, most of them focus on the center of the Great Lakes.

The Younger Dryas impact

This is a very interesting result, for the inescapable conclusion is that these enigmatic bays are likely to be elliptical impact crater-depressions. Not depressions created directly by an incoming comet or meteor shower, as many of the earlier researchers of the Carolina Bays claimed, but depressions formed by much slower secondary projectiles displaced from a primary impact source in the Great Lakes. And the symmetric flanking arrangement, of secondary debris and projectiles on either side of a primary impact, is a known type of crater formation called the low trajectory butterfly impact.

In this particular case, the primary meteor must have entered the atmosphere from the northeast at a low angle and struck the center of the Great Lakes region, resulting in two wings of debris being lifted up either side of the primary impact. But not so much material was displaced to the front or rear of the primary crater, which is why this type of impact is known as a butterfly formation.


The kinetic energy would've invariably shattered and then melted any ice, turny the slushy blobs of into lukewarm water on impact -- basically lobbing huge water balloons into S. Carolina. It would be pretty easy to scale, simulate and film in slow motion. Be fun, too.

Possible. I would like to see.

Personally I don't think it would turn to water, because the latent heat of melting and then vaporisation of ice is very large. Larger than most solids-liquids. I think it would exceed the capability of the impact. In addition, ice is quite a good insulator, so the heat would not have time to spread effectively, in the instant of impact.

But if you have a spare Cray computer, and a fat Climate Change grant, we could always try. Ah, sorry, I forgot, those are only for CO2 research. ;-)


This is Ralph's second climate article, which deals with as yet unknown mechanism for Ice Age modulation. The Ice Age article is interesting, because it strongly suggests that CO2 is not the primary feedback-warming agent for our climate.

The real modulator of earth temperature and climate is albedo, not CO2. And if this is true then Western governments are wasting something like $100 to $200 billion a year of our money on a non-problem. Please remember that there has ben no Global Warming for 18 years.


And your explanation for consistent record global average temperatures year after year is...?

>>consistent record global average temperatures.

Because we are at the top of the PDO and AMO oceanic cycles. These are 60 - 70 year cycles and were at a:

max in the 30s (hot)
min in the 70s (cold)
max in the 00s (hot)

And now they are cooling again. The 30s were as hot as now. You also have to remember that the temperature record has been adjusted to hell and back. There have been 20 or more adjustments to the record, and all of them made the apparent temperature record warmer in recent years. That is why it is now known as the tamperature record, in the trade.


after year 1850? the earth is billions of years old. the cycle of the climate is not as short as a human life, and obviously the planet has been very hot before when it had the DINOSAURS living on it. lizards need warm climates to survive.

If you would like to read Ralph's full and more detailed article about the Carolina Bays, it is on the Academia,edu site on the following link. This, and the Ice Age article, have pushed Ralph into the top 0.5% of contributors on Academia,edu:


The real terrain image here, is also on the LIDAR image.

If you look at the bottom of the LIDAR image, where there is a larger Bay that is covering a slightly smaller Bay -- those are the main and secondary forest-covered Bays in the real terrain image.


Please proofread, or have someone proofread, your articles prior to submission (not auto-correct). Elementary grammatical errors tend to lessen the credibility of any paper.

Any examples?
Most of the 'errors' I am notified of are actually English spellings.

Ralph, this research echoes the work done by Graham Hancock in his latest book Magicians of The Gods. He also postulates meteor/cometry impact in the YDB and over the Laurentide Ice Sheet. I don’t think he touched onto the Carolina Bays but he did extensive work with Randall Carlson on the strange geological phenomena out in the northwest which also lends itself to catastrophic meltwaters caused by cometry impact.


So I hear, but I have not read that book.

Yes, there have been various musings that a meteor was involved in the Y.D. but nobody has tied it all together before. Hancock so I understand, links the start of the Y.D. to the age of the pyramids, which is probably true. And that will be the next thing I shall look at, for there may be a story there too.


I don’t believe he links the age of the pyramids to the start of the YD, rather that the Giza monuments were built to commemorate the sky of 10,500 BC – obviously this does not require us to conclude that all the monuments were necessarily built in that epoch. His work on Gobekli Tepe also refers to the same epoch and the conclusions there are in fact that those monuments indeed date to that time or shortly after. What does it matter? The question is why. The many thousands of myths and writings surrounding comets/serpent tails lend credence to the impact theory as well. I believe you may also be aware of Dr Victor Clube’s work around YDB comet/meteor impact, specifically around the Taurid Meteor shower and it’s fireball show we are presently enjoying in the Northern Hemisphere this week. 


1) The suggestion that the projectiles that created the Carolina Bays were "slushballs" that survived a suborbital flight is inconsistent with the thermodynamics of water in a vacuum. Water cannot exist in the liquid state below a pressure of 0.006 atmospheres (611.7 Pascals). Any water ejected above the atmosphere (100 km above sea level) would have turned into ice crystals.

2) The statement that the ET impact "thoroughly smashed and crushed" the ice sheet disagrees with the experiments of Prof. P. Schultz (Brown U.) that show that the ice fractures and pieces of ice are ejected. Here is one of his experiments:

Thank you for bringing awareness about the Carolina Bays to a wide audience.

Antonio Zamora

Thanks, Antonio.

I am fairly certain that a large slushball, measuring from 20m to 700m in diameter, would have sufficient mass to remain semi-liquid for the 5 minutes it would be in space. Bearing in mind the very large latent heat of solidification, and the good insulating properties of ice. And really, all I am asking for, is that this iceball is crushed rather than solid.

Regards the consistency of the ice, I am sure it would be crushed. Like yourself I conducted some simple tests and the crushed projectile gave much better results, producing shallow elliptical depressions in sands and silts. I am sure these were soft, crushed projectiles.

There is a much longer version of this article on the Academia.edu site, using the same title. It has a few images of my simple tests. It would be nice to do these tests properly, but as you know academia will not acknowledge the 'ejecta projectile' theory, and only they have the resources to properly test this. I have approached some US universities about this, but with no luck at present. I will let you know if Inhave any success. You may contact me at ralf dot ellis at me dot com.


Did this have any bearing on the Chesapeake Bay?I heard some catastrophe created it,Thanks,you have done good research-Kevin

I don't know if Chesapeake Bay was caused by these slushball projectiles, but they certainly do litter the region. This is an image of the Chesapeake peninsular, and it is covered in Bays.


The article mentions that Clovis man was also made extinct at this time-approx. 12,900 years ago. Awhile back I read (maybe on this site?) That Clovis was the same as the Solutreans of modern day France-Spain. Their spear-arrow points are the same, and they had a connection to Chesapeake Bay. It is exciting to think that other people came here besides the paleo-siberians.
The article also makes a passing note that many creatures would have been flash frozen.This is certainly the case in Siberia and Alaska, though in Alaska their seems to be evidence of a wall of mud that overtook much of the megafauna.
Is there any evidence of a huge impact of an asteroid or ? crashing to the ice sheet, or did the ice just absorb it?
I'm just a curious reader, fascinated by what I read here, and loaded with questions, so forgive a lack of specific knowledge about this era.

When that much kinetic energy is involved,the physics get rather hairy,it takes a while for all that released heat to get redistributed and due to the elasticity of the ice sheet things are not always as straight forward as they would seem.There are blowouts and layers of shattered rock around here in different locales and some places seem to have just had a gradual upthrust(the layers of rock had time to creep,rather then shatter)I would imagine the initial blast killed a lot of the higher lifeforms in the area.The ejecta,coming back in would cause a lot of damage too,the following climate shift after the event probably caused the final extinction,then it was up to the final wave of Asian people to colonize the North American continent(the way I see it anyway)-Kevin

Nothing direct, but it is interesting that the Great Lakes form a circular pattern. I postulate that cracks were formed, that the new ice sheets of the YD opened up into their present form.

Tsurugi's picture

You have hit on one of the main areas of contention in this subject--if there was a large impact event over the North American ice sheet that brought about the end of the Last Glacial Maiximum, where is the impact structure? There should be a crater, but despite extensive searches, no identifiable crater structure has been found.

One possibility that has been put forward is that the impact was of a type known as an oblique impact. Oblique impacts are unique, because the impactor does not embed itself into the crust of the planet. The angle of approach is so low that the impactor just grazes the crust, after which it continues on its journey and heads back out into space. This results in a total lack of normal, recognizable crater structure.

So the possibility of an oblique impact may explain why no significant crater has been found. Oblique impacts also have a signature "butterfly wing" ejecta pattern, a pattern that is displayed in the dispersal of the Carolina Bays.
One other interesting implication of an oblique impact is the destruction it would have caused to the ice sheet. A normal impact would have penetrated the ice down to the crust, but an oblique would have plowed a trough through the ice for many miles both before and after making contact with the crust.

Tsurugi refers to oblique impact and this is precisely what Graham Hancock surmises in his latest book and theory on catastrophic flooding caused by cometry or fragmented cometry impact over the Laurentide Ice sheet at the Younger Dryas Boundary. These ‘impacts’ are not uncommon – refer to The Tanguska Event in 1908. Identical nanodiamond deposits have been found across North America in this YDB strata as well as far afield as the Middle East – these are only caused by meteorc impacts or cosmic events. We're missing a helluva lot of evidence in between i.e. North Atlantic. Of course, this catastrophy theory goes well against accepted scientific dogma in it’s gradualist approach to the Earth’s geographical history.

Tsurugi's picture

Oblique impacts are less common than normal impacts, but they are common enough. Search "oblique impacts" in Google Images and you can see several images from the moon and Mars of oblique impact craters.
I'm not sure the Tunguska event was an impact; it seems to have exploded before it made contact with the surface...

I corrected a typo in my comment – read it again – I believe we’re in agreement :-)

Tsurugi's picture

We are definitely in agreement. I should have made that more clear in my last response, sorry.

There is only one thing I disagree on, and that is the Tunguska event...I dont think it qualifies as an oblique impact.

Would be nice if someone could get time on a super computer to simulate an event such as this or having the funding to construct a scale model,using an electromagnetic accelerator(if such exists)

If I’m not mistaken I believe the author has tried to secure Uni testing facilities for this exact purpose - He refers to it in the comments somewhere.  We know how difficult securing these facilities may be when the testing doesn't fit into the current paradigm though….


You can only go so far when its purely a thought experiment.Sometimes I get the feeling that we are being "Hoodwinked" into believing this earth as it stands is eternal.Perhaps people wouldnt be so malleable,if they understood this can change overnight.

I have tried to get a high energy physics lab in the US to do low energy impacts. All their current research is on high energy impacts from meteors and comets, but these slushballs would only be doing mach 1 on impact. A different ball game entirely. I think they may have agreed to do something, but I have not heared back from them for a while.


This just in from The Royal Astronomical Society, finally acedemia waking up to the possibility of catastrophic cosmic impact or otherwise in the YDB...http://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/2758-giant-comets-could-pose-danger...


Thanks Fellows,'
Some of the superlative guys at the defense and law enforcement site wanted to ostracize me ,when I suggested some of our "surplus" nuclear arsenal(how many times do you need to be able to wipe all life off the surface of the earth anyway?) be used and modified for the possible deflection of massive objects that were threatening the earth,they acted like that was the most preposterous and unworthy idea they had ever heard of(I wish we didnt have any of the accursed things,just a matter of time) Anyway,I believe we shouldnt be burying our heads in the sand,just one large extraterestrial object impacting the earth,will change life(if any remains) forever.
In my opinion,if the work of Cremo and Thompson has any merit,then there will be another clean slate on the earth again anyway,greed seems to be the major shortcoming of the Human species.I wish to express to the PTB,that a fortress or gated community will be of little consequence if a large object strikes the Earth.

it's obvious they are megaliths, they were made by the same people who made the other giant earth works and pyramids.

and how do a group of circles "point" to anything? How does a circle, with no edge, point? and "the great lakes region" is clearly "modern Michigan" as the entire great lakes region extends beyond the point in Michigan that is pictured on your map.

Tsurugi's picture

Any ellipse has a long axis and a short axis. The long axis of the bays intersect at a common point of origin. After adjusting for coriolis and drift, that point is around Saginaw Bay in Lake Michigan.

also, Ancient Origins, have you ever looked at a satellite or Google earth image of Florida? it's covered in circular holes, because Florida is made of spongy stone that is filled with underground lakes and rivers. This could be an explanation for these formations on the coastal states including the Carolinas, but I am not certain about the ones in Kansas

There was lots of speculation that the bays are wind formed. Two problems with this. The bays are directional, and all point to one source. The bays cover many different types of terrain and many different altitudes, even within one location. It is difficult to imagine any slow erosional or wind process that would act in the same fashion over many different regions with different geology, and produce identical landforms that point in one direction.

Some good ideas and thoughts,a while back I was clearing out a rock garden behind my mothers house and I came across a perfect bored threaded (it appeared )hole in an ancient sandstone rock(large talus) I have no idea how it could have been produced due to the nature of area and apparent age of the rock
People from the west have commented on our lack of topsoil around here compared to what they have.Actually it is rather easy to explain .during the younger Dryas event, it blew away ,ended up for the most part in the atlantic ocean ,probably why we have so much "methane ice" as the fourth or so squatters on this continent ,we have a lot we are not so sure about ,keep thinking people ,and we must some sort of genetic memory to explain some of our legends.

Tsurugi's picture

The bays have two unique characteristics which completely set them apart from more common landforms like the numerous Florida sinkholes.

One, the rims of the bays are uplifted. Sinkholes do not generally have this trait.

Two, many bays overlap other bays. The lifted rim of the bay being overlapped disappears inside the overlap, while the rim of the overlapping bay is unbroken. This makes it easy to see which bay is "on top", as it were. This is another feature that sinkholes cannot account for, but is easily explained by a rain of ejecta droplet impacts over a period of time. The later impact depressions would overlay previous ones.

this is very interesting and informative.
I also would wonder if they were caused by ancient volcanic mud bubbling to the surface, but on a larger scale? Similar to the mud pots in Yosemite?
As the bays have raised edges, would that not indicate that they were briefly domes, and then the mud bubble popped, leaving the raised edges?

Tsurugi's picture

Ralph, I was thinking about this scenario the other day and I wanted to ask, how did you calculate the speed of the droplets during the fall back to earth? At one point you indicated that they would be pushing a heat shockwave in front of them on their way down. Would they really be moving that quickly? They're on a ballistic arc, just up and then down, they aren't hitting the atmosphere at orbital speeds. Terminal velocity should regulate their speed all the way down.

Below is new link to Ralph's academia.edu page:


Related research on Saginaw Impact Structure:


Again, they differ about the impact date, but very interesting!

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