A smoldering crater, known as Chicxulub, left by a space rock that struck Earth 66 million years ago, reportedly became a home for blue-green algae. Photosynthesis shut down after the incident heaved a large amount of debris into the atmosphere. Years after the impact, the blue-green algae carrying toxic blooms moved to the crater along with cyanobacteria that can produce food on their own. This proved that life at ground zero can be restored in a short period of time. The crater that is approximately 20 miles in depth resulted in the formation of the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2016, geologists unearthed a 2,750-foot-long foundation of sediments from Chicxulub, permitting scientists around the world to examine the rocks. Ms. Bettina Schaefer, a scientist from the Curtin University of Australia, focused on how life at ground zero rebounded. Ms. Schaefer’s team found preserved fats within the core of the sedimentary rocks, which means that cyanobacteria are present. According to their research, the fats accumulated on top of layered, fossilized plants that were then carried away to the crater by the tsunami. This means that the bacteria inhabited the crater in the aftermath of the tsunami, but prior to the atmosphere’s clearing and the sunlight’s restoration.