Did magnetic excursion cause Neanderthal extinction?

That’s exactly what I said in both Not by Fire but by Ice and Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps. Now here’s a video exploring that very question.

This video by Anton Petrov explores the Laschamp magnetic reversal of 42,000 years ago, which lasted anywhere from 400 years to 1,000 years.

Petrov asserts that magnetic reversals occur every 300,000 years or so but then gives a nod to magnetic excursions, which take place much more often.

(I’m inclined to think magnetic excursions take place about every 11,500 years. And that they do it in sync with precession of the equinoxes.)

During an excursion, the earth’s magnetic-field strength declines precipitously, which allows carbon-14 and  beryllium-10 to bombard our planet, says Petrov.

(I talk about that beryllium-10 in both “Not by Fire but by Ice” and “Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps,” because I think the increase in radioactive materials inundating our atmosphere leads not only to extinctions, but to an increase in mutations and thence to evolutionary leaps.)

According to Petrov, the earth’s magnetic-field strength at that time declined to only five to ten percent of what we have today (I agree), and lasted for several centuries. Now, pointing to what is known as the South Atlantic Anomaly where magnetic field-strength has declined, he sees a similar thing happening on earth today.

That decline, which is well-documented, has already been enough to have destroyed a Japanese satellite.

“Even flying in an airplane is going to become extremely dangerous.”

“We know, without the magnetic field to protect our planet, that the satellite technology and a lot of aerospace industries are going to be basically impossible to maintain,” says Petrov. “Even flying in an airplane is going to become extremely dangerous.”

Petrov then ties the magnetic excursion of 42,000 years ago to the extinction of several megafauna (large animal) species in Australia at the time, pointing to the huge increase in ultraviolet UV) light, which, he says, is damaging to many kinds of cells.

The upshot of all this?

Maybe, just maybe, we are now headed for an excursion event, warns Petrov.

“This is perhaps something we might want to start preparing for – just in case.”

I agree that we should start preparing.

Think about it. How could a dramatic increase in radioactive materials raining down on our planet NOT lead to extinctions?

How could a dramatic increase in radioactivity bombarding our bodies – and the bodies of all living species – NOT lead to mutations and evolutionary leaps?

Trouble is, I’m not exactly sure how we begin preparing.


What does Wikipedia have to say about this?

According to Wikipedia, the Laschamps excursion occurred 41,400 (±2,000) years ago during the end of the Last Glacial Period; it was first recognised from a geomagnetic excursion discovered c. 1969 in the Laschamps lava flows in the Clermont-Ferrand district of France.[1]

The magnetic excursion has since been demonstrated in geological archives from many parts of the world.[2] The magnetic field was reversed for approximately 440 years, with the transition from the normal field lasting approximately 250 years. The reversed field was 75% weaker, whereas the strength dropped to only 5% of the current strength during the transition. This reduction in geomagnetic field strength resulted in more cosmic rays reaching the Earth, causing greater production of the cosmogenic isotopes beryllium 10 and carbon 14.[3]

The Australian Research Council is funding research to analyze a kauri tree uncovered in New Zealand in 2019. According to its carbon-dating, the tree was alive during the event (41,000–42,500 years ago).[4][5]

The geomagnetic field was at low levels from 42,200–41,500 years ago. This period of low magnetic field has been termed the Adams Event or Adams Transitional Geomagnetic Event, a tribute to science fiction writer Douglas Adams, who wrote in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that “42” was the answer to life, the universe, and everything.[6][7] During this period, Earth’s magnetic field dropped to below 6% of the current level, Carbon 14 production increased, ozone levels decreased, and atmospheric circulation changed.[8] This loss of the geomagnetic shield was also claimed to have caused the extinction of Australian megafauna, the extinction of the Neanderthals, and the appearance of cave art.[9][10][11] However, the lack of corroborating evidence of a causal link between the Laschamps event and population bottlenecks of many megafauna species and the relatively moderate radio-isotopic changes during the event have cast significant doubt on the real impact of the Laschamps event on global environmental changes [12]


Thanks to Michael Gershman for this video

23 thoughts on “Did magnetic excursion cause Neanderthal extinction?”

  1. As I understand it, Neanderthals had been around for around 250000 years. If so, they may have experienced one magnetic field reversal, and would have experienced several excursions. Why did the most recent excursion kill them?

  2. I think you’ll find that military have built enormous underground living areas to be used if normal places to live become unsafe. They were probably thinking more of nuclear armageddon scenarios than magnetic excursions when they built them, but I would wager big money that spots in those sorts of places have been put very discretely on sale to those with the money to procure them.

    Osama bin Laden apparently proved that it’s possible to live in caves, but that was presumably based on growing food outside. If it were too dangerous to harvest food, then presumably for humans to survive, they will need factory-style technologies in those caves to create food to sustain human beings.

  3. Anything, any kind of influence is possible, but since there is enough Neandertal DNA available, taken from museum samples, to show that we “modern” humans have some Neandertal DNA, it’s equally possible that the female Neandertals decided that Cro Magnon (that’s us) were better hunters and providers than their male counterparts and went with the CMs. This has been suggested by some researchers, too, so it is not just my speculation.
    Whether or not it has to do with the magnetic poles wandering is interesting, but I tend to go with the “better providers” idea. There’s also the competition for females, which is pretty basic in all mammals (and other critters),

    • I think your theory is possible as Neanderthal DNA has been found in all of us so we know that the 2 species did reproduce, but the circumstances are lost in time. I don’t think Neanderthals went extinct because of any one thing. Competition from modern humans pushed them from their ancient hunting grounds, climate change, occasional conflict with MH, magnetic reversals and your theory of Neanderthal females defecting to the other side were all contributing factors.

      • I have read that Neanderthal women hunted along with their men. Hunting large animals with stone weapons was an extremely dangerous activity. This lead to a much higher causality rate among Neanderthal women than CM women. Since when you kill a women you not only kill her but also her future offspring. A man can father children with multiple women but it takes one woman to have a baby. Thus CM women tended live longer and have more babies. Gradually Neanderthals died out and CM survived. I am sure there were other factors involved too.

    • Maybe the Cro-Magnon (that’s us) were better hunters and providers, but where they good at making alcohol?
      The female Neandertals were not very beautiful, but there’s beauty in everything. Sometimes a good amount of alcohol is needed to see it.
      Maybe this is just male Homo sapiens thinking…….

  4. Not all of them…look at people who have big brow ridges and very square strong faces – Homo sapiens neanderthalensis is still alive and well.

  5. Its possible. Neanderthals were not dumb brutes, simple cave men as the children’s tv shows make them out to be. They survived late ice age Europe for several hundred thousand years and were very hardy people. Yet they vanished very quickly around 40,000 years ago.

    Were modern Humans responsible?, its possible but modern Humans existed in very small numbers, also Neanderthals and modern humans coexisted for several thousand years before the Neanderthals suddenly disappeared. Its the simple answer to say we suddenly decided to wiped them out, its probably also wrong answer.

  6. The Australian megafauna may also have been exterminated due to hunting by the Australian Aborigines, who arrived sometime about 60,000 BC or a little later.

  7. How Dare He – I’m pretty sure we have nothing to worry about for the next few decades – YEAH Right

    Occassional Cortex and Thunderberg tell us the world is doomed in 12 or so years and who can argue with intellects like that ?

  8. and the CME possibility is also high
    NASA today spaceweather stated theyre more likely to be 40 to 60 yr events than 100 or more
    ie we are well overdue
    for both
    if the two events did a double whammy?
    we’re screwed
    the Canadian event wasnt that long ago..but late 80s gives us a rising risk level of a repeat

    • Wouldn’t a real CME fry every piece of electronic equipment we have available?
      What horror might ensue if a CME hit Earth at just the right moment and shut down ALL electronics, as well as power transmission lines and vehicles and places like gas and recharging stations?
      Anything is possible these days, y’know….. anything!

  9. Per warmist yokels’ notoriously self-absorbed “precautionary principle”, let’s assume that a looming centuries if not millennia-long “magnetic excursion” threatens extinctions, or at least major mutations, of Earth’s extant mega-fauna, including 7.8 billion large, bipedal hominids called genus Homo.

    Here a suitably empirical, natural-scientific coup d’oeil (“stroke of the eye”) may be in order: Like Gen. Sheridan at Cedar Creek (1863), “What was done– what to do? A glance told him both” (T.R. Read), decisive action’s called for. But what?

    Now 670 years in post-Holocene times, following the 140-year “amplitude compression” rebound from a 500-year Little Ice Age, Planet Earth enters a 102-kiloyear cyclical Pliocene-Pleistocene glacial-phase. What with earthquakes, meteor-strikes, tsunamis, major volcanic eruptions, its time humanity shed its dustmote chrysalis for
    vast intrasolar terrafugia disposed in spherical zones about the plane of Sol’s ecliptic.

    Beginning c. AD 2030 – 2050, aerospace technology plus hyperlinked quantum-automation will make sparsity quintiles’ trans-human escape possible. By AD 2125, more seminal changes will have occurred than in all previous four centuries together.

    Just for starters, uploading ineffable human consciences to hyperlinked “cloud minds” will combine organic with cyber-evolution, rendering “naturally selected” sensibilities effectively immortal.

  10. Feasible. Timing – coincidental? It’s possible the reversal included the eruption of the super volcano (below)? At least it’s plausible although some dispute the volcano theory (also below).
    Those that argue against reversals and volcanic impacts, imho, to have a thin argument. Occam’s razor, etc. Neanders were highly concentrated as far as we can discern.

    2010 NatGeo on the volcano: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/100922-volcanoes-eruptions-neanderthals-science-volcanic-humans

    those favoring “we killed them off”: https://www.livescience.com/48432-supervolcano-cleared-in-neanderthals-extinction.html

    While interesting, what’s even more interesting is modern northern europeans (and descendants) have Neander genes…

  11. Neandertals could be hypothyroid , hence infertile in some period of history.
    Volcanic eruptions emit a lot of toxic arsenic -the antagonist of zinc, vitamin A, selenium, thiols which lowers immunity. Plagues after volcanic incidents could be both a result of low vitamin D3, famine, but also other vitamins and micronutrients important for immunity.

  12. “In the 1920s, Justin Christofleau invented a system of electroculture which proved so efficient that it increased crops in considerable proportions (up to 200%) without any chemical fertilizer of any kind. It also prevented diseases and helped rejuvenate plants, and, among other advantages, the germination of seeds was better and shorter, and crops were much hastened. Furthermore, electroculture proved especially suitable in drought-stricken regions.

    Justin Christofleau explained in his book how his system worked and how to do it, with schemas and pictures.

    Almost a century later, we are pleased to present again this precious information to everybody, including farmers, gardeners, agronomist, students and anyone concerned about food, health and environment.”

  13. So where are we in this disaster cycle? Still losing 5% per decade, or has the decline accelerated? Is there any site with an up-to-date graph of our magnetosphere strength?

    • According to information I have read Europeans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native North and South Americans all have some Neanderthal genes. The only people without Neanderthal genes are sub-Saharan Africans. It appears to me that there was a lot of mixing of the two groups. There is something in animal husbandry called hybrid vigor so this addition of Neanderthal genes may have actually improved the health and vigor of the resulting offspring.

      At the same time it is reasonable to think that there could have been pockets of both groups who did not mix.

  14. Impossible as it may seem, when you read or listen to hundreds of modern eyewitness accounts of Yowies, Bigfoot & the British Woodwose, you realise that Neanderthals never went away, but were forced into hiding.

    The Australian audio accounts can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/YowieSightings/videos

    Australian maps & written reports here:

    Some British ones here:

    British sightings map here:

    Some American ones here:


    • And since the Neanderthals were & are completely covered with shaggy hair to keep warm, like the Yowies, Woodwose, Yetis & Sasquatch, they are much better equipped to survive the coming Ice Age than hairless modern humans.

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