Geologists have revealed the multiple impacts on the globe which all occurred around 780,000 years ago.
By gathering tektites – a natural glass which is found in meteor and asteroid debris – the experts from the Heidelberg University were able to pinpoint when the impacts occurred.
Samples which came from Asia, Australia, Canada and Central America all hit Earth at roughly the same time.
Dr Winfried Schwarz, lead author of the study which was published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, said of the tektites found in Australia: “Our data analysis indicates that there must have been a cosmic impact about 793,000 years ago, give or take 8,000 years.”
Of the ones found in Central America, he said: “These tektites are clearly different in their chemical composition, and their geographical distribution also shows that they come from separate impacts.
“Surprisingly our age estimates prove that they originated 777,000 years ago with a deviation of 16,000 years. Within the error margin, this matches the age of the Australasian tektites.”
The scientists say that when they hit Earth, the meteor impacts created fires and earthquakes for hundreds of kilometres within the proximity of the tektite impact.
It adds that if they were to hit the ocean, it would create tsunamis which could read 100 metres high.
They would have also fired dust and gas into the upper atmosphere, which would have blocked the sunlight and lowered surface temperatures.