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.


Related research on Saginaw Impact Structure:


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

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


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.

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

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.


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