The Silurian Hypothesis: What if We Are Not The First Civilization On Earth?

The Silurian Hypothesis: What if We Are Not The First Civilization On Earth?

Scientists always debate about the Silurian hypothesis, i.e., .whether in the past there existed an industrial society that ended up perishing as a result of global warming generated by their action on the planet.

The Silurian Hypothesis


“The Silurians would be a race of scientifically advanced humanoids reptile like that preceded man on planet Earth.”

Gavin Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA, and astrophysicist Adam Frank, of the University of Rochester, have been inspired by them to sketch a fascinating theory.

The Silurian hypothesis postulates the possibility that there has been a non-human civilization on Earth for millions of years, capable of transforming the world to the point of causing a relative climate change – greater, in fact – to that caused by humanity in the world.

The theory is not inconsistent. Scientists based this hypothesis on studying a phenomenon known as “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum,” a sudden climate change that marked the end of the Paleocene and the beginning of the Eocene 56 million years ago.

In that historical period, the Earth’s average temperature was 15 degrees higher than the current one. There was practically no ice on the entire earth’s surface, and the weather at the poles was almost tropical.

The funny thing is that there are studies that show that in the previous centuries, there was a shocking rise in carbon emissions, comparable to what would be expected in the Anthropocene, the geological era that would happen to the current one, the Holocene, due to the global impact of Human activity on the environment.


“Are these events indicative of a non-human industrial civilization?” Frank asks in an article published this week in The Atlantic.

While this increase in carbon emissions in the Paleocene could have been due to the burning of fossil coal, as is currently the case, there are substantial differences in terms of time.

What in the past would have occurred over hundreds of thousands of years, now unleashed in a century? Anyway, scientists call attention to a point.

If that extinct civilization had existed, it would be perfectly possible that no trace was registered. Think of most fossils found dating back thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, not millions.

It would be perfectly possible that the remains of the hypothetical factories and buildings of that era are only dust today.

“It would be easy to miss an industrial civilization that lived only 100,000 years, which would have been 500 times more than our industrial civilization,” says Frank.

“New and dedicated detection methods may be needed to find evidence of such a short event in old sediments.”


“In other words, if you’re not explicitly looking for that, you may not find it. That recognition is, perhaps, the most concrete conclusion of our study. ”

When humanity is affecting the sustainability of the planet so much with its actions, it does not seem a bad idea to think that it could end up becoming extinct due to climate change.

And that there is a possibility that this has already happened to another civilization. What do you think about it? Leave your comment below.

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