6 Alternate Theories for Why Dinosaurs Became Extinct
Over the years many solid, well-regarded theories have been proposed for the extinction of the dinosaurs, from asteroids to volcanoes to climate change to committing suicide after seeing one too many “Ice Age” movies. But that still hasn’t stopped researchers—and people with far too much time on their hands and on the Internet—to offer other reasons, from bowel movements to, of course, ancient aliens.
Dinosaurs Kept Farting
As much as it sounds like a theory created simply to make paleontologists giggle after years of looking at dried bones and desperately needing a laugh, “farting” may indeed be the strongest hypothesis on this list. Researchers recently stated dinosaurs might have emitted over 550 million tons of methane gas a year (with the giant plant-eating—and rarely invited to enclosed social gatherings—sauropods cited as the key culprits), resulting in early global warming and a noxious environment that all the cans of jasmine-scented Lysol could not dispel.
Dinosaurs Went Blind
Cartoon by author
Another current theory is that immense heat and radiation caused dinosaurs to develop cataracts (clouding of the eye lens), resulting in eventual mass blindness. This in turn could have prevented the creatures from locating food or even finding mates to continue their species. Such blindness might have also caused the dinosaurs to quicken their demise by unknowingly walking off of cliffs, into volcanoes, straight into each other’s mouths, or right into the path of that “Dinosaur Train” they keep showing on PBS.
Dinosaurs Were Mutated by Aliens
As anyone who has watched even a single of episode of “Ancient Aliens” can tell you, theories are best proposed by simply saying the first six words that come to your head and then exclaiming, “Done! Science!” So naturally a show that claims everything from human evolution to spicier Doritos are the result of extraterrestrials had to sooner or later look at the extinction of dinosaurs and—like an autistic kid after seeing “E.T.”—keep saying “spaceship.” Their specific theory, though, as proposed by the show’s leading “expert” Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, is that aliens mutated dinosaur DNA, thoughtfully turning them from colossal, ferocious beasts into things we could all enjoy, like birds or pyramids.
Dinosaurs Couldn’t Fit in the Ark
Sometimes science and religion shake hands and decide to form a new school of thought. And that school of thought leads to a whole new theory that dinosaurs and man actually lived side-by-side, resulting in a kind of “Flintstones” world in which the creatures found renewed purpose as can openers, garbage disposals, turntable needles, and—depending on the caveman’s socio-economic level—olive spears for martinis. And that later right before the “Great Flood” Noah had to turn away all the still-living allosaurs and tyrannosaurus rexes because of space and bouyancy issues while all the other mammals, lizards, and birds said, “Doesn’t Noah know dinosaurs died 70 million years ago, he’s actually blindly declining entry to some large shrubs, and maybe someone else should pilot this boat?”
Dinosaurs Needed Nicotine Patches
Proposed only once by cartoonist Gary Larson on “The Far Side,” the theory that dinosaurs smoked themselves to death has clearly caught on as evidenced by the number of books, calendars, greeting cards, and office doors sporting the above image. Plus, it dovetails nicely with a previous scientific fact that the tobacco industry will kill anyone—or anything—to make a buck.
Dinosaurs Never Went Extinct
”Isn’t it possible,” some say, “That if man can still keep finding new species to this day then maybe, just maybe, somewhere out there exists a place where dinosaurs survived the asteroid, survived the volcano and climate change, survived even farting, blindness, aliens, and cigarettes, and are still out there undetected, alive, and roaming free?” And the answer is 45 minutes of thunderous laughter followed by a polite, “No.”
What do you think happened to the dinosaurs? Let us know in the comments below!