Crater off Africa may have been left by baby cousin of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs

A mysterious crater found in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of west Africa may have been left by the baby cousin of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, scientists say.

Dubbed the Nadir Crater, the new feature was discovered 248 miles (400km) off the coast of Guinea in west Africa.

It sits around 1,000ft (300m) below the seabed and has a diameter of 5.2 miles (8.5km).

The impact site is not as big as the Chicxulub crater in Mexico, which was left by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, but it is of a very similar age.

It has raised questions about whether Earth was hit by more than one space rock during that cataclysmic period in natural history.

If confirmed, it would also be of great scientific interest, because it would be one of a small number of known marine asteroid impacts, so may offer new insights into what happens during such a collision.

The depression was identified by Dr Uisdean Nicholson, from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, who has been analysing seismic survey data to better understand past climatic changes on Earth.

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