Humanity has had both a fascination and a fear of comets for all recorded history, and a recent discovery at the Gobekli Tepe in Turkey might hold the key to our fixation: the Clovis comet impact that triggered the Younger Dryas period around 11,000 BCE.

Evidence from ice cores in Greenland show that about 13,000 years ago, something drastically disrupted our climate. The change was sudden, and it wiped out the remaining great fauna on Earth at the time, including the wooly mammoth, the saber-tooth tiger, and the giant sloth.

In 2007, it was theorized that a comet strike triggered the Younger Dryas period. In 2013, this theory—known as the Clovis comet impact hypothesis—was apparently debunked.

The comet hypothesis has long been controversial and derided by many as a zombie hypothesis. But the theory was given a dramatic piece of evidence in its favor by discoveries at the Gobekli Tepe site in Turkey in April of last year, and subsequent discoveries since.

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