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History of B.C.

The Formation of the Earth

The Formation of the Earth and the First Life

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Over 4.5 billion years ago, the earth was born. It was a harsh, inhospitable environment, constantly bombarded by meteorites as small as dust particles or as big as mountains. Our planet remained lifeless for hundreds of millions of years while these large rocks hit and vaporized the earliest oceans, only causing them to rain down again in torrents. The surface of the earth was alive with volcanic activity, whose hardened lava eventually became land, and undersea eruptions became islands. Craters formed by meteorites filled with water, and tectonic plates pushed land aside to help form the earth's earliest oceans.

3.5 billion years ago, the first tiny creatures began their life in the seas of the earth. Life must have originated even earlier, and their evolution probably began around 4 billion years ago. This means that it must have taken only a few hundred million years for life to evolve from simple organic molecules. Before the discovery of early single-celled fossils, scientists thought that it had taken more than 3 billion years for the earliest life to develop.

History of B.C.

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