How Volcanoes Froze the Earth (Twice)

Over 600 million years ago, sheets of ice coated our planet on both land and sea. How did this happen? And most importantly for us, why did the planet eventually thaw again? The evidence for Snowball Earth is written on every continent today.
Thanks to Julio Lacerda and Franz Anthony from Studio 252mya for their wonderful illustrations. You can find more of their work here:
Special thanks to Judy Pu for answering our questions about Snowball Earth.
Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:
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  • Your voice anoing

    Manuel FranciscoManuel Francisco20 dakika önce
  • You could have explained more of why sulphur dioxides helps cooling the planet. Just in case anyone is curious, it does so by forming aerosols, as sulfur dioxide forms sulphate aerosols in the stratosphere. Stratospheric aerosols reflect a lot of the Sun's light at the stratosphere, which makes impossible for that radiation to reach the troposphere and, consequently, the surface of the planet

    Giovanni RafaelGiovanni Rafael20 saatler önce
  • Earth is so awesome planet

    Gurpreet SinghGurpreet SinghGün önce
  • 1991 Pinatubo eruption in Philippines cool global temp. down, nature have its way to solve rising temperature, without human's ego centric intervention.

    Carmela CambaCarmela Camba3 gün önce
  • So if global warming becomes a real issue, we just nuke YellowStone?

    BeelzebububbleBeelzebububble5 gün önce
  • I'll need to watch this a 3rd time soon cause i still didn't get all of it lol

    Rana El TacoRana El Taco10 gün önce
  • If continent pangea split what did earth really look like on da other side?

    O DoggO Dogg11 gün önce
  • Which species ruin earth for da volcanic eruptions/ ice age. Twice??

    O DoggO Dogg11 gün önce
  • These episodes are so good, I'm watching them twice! 💯💯💯

    the cakeslayerthe cakeslayer11 gün önce
  • Interestingly, they say human civilization has a timer on it, due to the fact that our sun will go nova in a few billion years. But given that all you need to do to radically change the planet's thermostat is move the continents around, and add volcanism, changing water currents and atmospheric composition, and solar intensity, and it's truly only a matter of time (millions of years) before we have a hot or cold planet again, either super rich in c02 or 02, and voila.

    tai jitai ji17 gün önce
  • What if STAR WARS actually happened and Hoth was once Earth? And they just forgot about us for a few millennia because we're so far away from the Core?

    ClandestineOstrichClandestineOstrich20 gün önce
  • 2020: write that down, write that down.

    gnieB ythgimlAgnieB ythgimlA20 gün önce
  • 👁🔥🔥👁 Wait for it...

    Jesus FeetJesus Feet22 gün önce
  • Snowball Earth: *exists* Rodinia: yeah but I'm busy though

    alexalex24 gün önce
  • I love how these videos don't start like, "hey vsauce, Michael here"

    TrazTraz26 gün önce
  • Eukaryotes be like "The great freeze is over? YEEEEAHHH BOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!"

    Cat DudeCat DudeAylar önce
  • FrostPunk intensifies.

    John SullivanJohn SullivanAylar önce
  • As star wars was a long time ago in a galaxy far away, but they had hyperspeed starships... Could Earth have been Hoth?

    The Universe UndressedThe Universe UndressedAylar önce
  • Many of the assertions voiced in the video are contentious, or at least quite uncertain. For example, the position of the drop stones, which is, as she said, dependent on paleomagnetism, might not be accurate because we don't have a clear idea of what Earth's magnetic field was like back then. We lack a comprehensive theory of the magnetic field such that we can make assumptions about it that far back in time. The sulphur dioxide argument is interesting, but there have been many objections raised to it. Etc etc. I have noticed that the Snowball Earth hypothesis has indeed been getting a great deal of traction in recent years, rather suddenly too. Yet the arguments for it haven't changed much from when I first heard about it decades ago. It does neatly answer a lot of vexing questions around the geology of that time period, but I wish I could hear why the perspective on it changed so quickly, without some sort of major observational change.

    John MannoJohn MannoAylar önce
  • anyone else ever watch this sort of thing and then just become like, terrified for no justifiable reason?

    Desmond HunterDesmond HunterAylar önce
  • It’s the ice age not snowball earth

    King Derpy 1King Derpy 1Aylar önce
  • Empire reference :-)

    Leo PolledLeo Polled2 aylar önce
  • No volcanoes -> no CO2 -> Earth becomes frozen. No rocks to absorb CO2 -> too much greenhouse effect -> Earth becomes more like Venus. We are so lucky to live on this planet! So many things had to go right for us to appear

    Andriy MakukhaAndriy Makukha2 aylar önce
  • Devise a solar-powered sensor system that records everything about the earth for posterity.

    A personA person2 aylar önce
  • Warming ocean temperatures have caused mass deaths of sponges in the Mediterranean and Caribbean over the last decade. Not so immortal to me.

    Everett WilliamsEverett Williams2 aylar önce
  • Sea sponges can only survive in saltwater, so if you put them in freshwater, they will quickly die. They are also very sensitive to air and do not like to be taken out of the water because their pores get filled with air. If too many of their pores are filled with air, they will die.

    Everett WilliamsEverett Williams2 aylar önce
  • Que interesante canal.

    Diego RebattaDiego Rebatta2 aylar önce
  • this vid was more informative than my geography classes. Thank you!

    richard barbosarichard barbosa2 aylar önce
  • Could this happen again if all the worlds super volcanoes go off at once??

  • But Life managed to hold on. Seems life will go on no matter what. Until the Sun becomes a Red Giant at least.

    Safersephiroth777Safersephiroth7772 aylar önce
  • The music in this episode is beautiful...

    AnyOtherNamePleaseAnyOtherNamePlease2 aylar önce
  • Wasn't it referred to as the ice age?

    Mark CruzMark Cruz2 aylar önce
  • 680 are conspiracy theorists.

    Sin EmbodimentSin Embodiment2 aylar önce
  • so basically volcanoes are like the reset button of Earth

    ZXCZXC2 aylar önce
  • And all this happened by chance?

    Waqar JilaniWaqar Jilani2 aylar önce
  • How do you determine from rocks what the direction of the north pole was when they cooled? The rocks have been moved from their original orientation since then so what kind of relationship between the magnetic field lines in the rock allow you to tell something about the planet as a whole?

    alexanderx33alexanderx332 aylar önce
  • "Maybe the equator was once flipped up to the poles" = Science? 👍😂👌

    Mystery 13Mystery 132 aylar önce
  • The affectatious, kindergarten-level delivery really isn't helping. :/ I could only take 4 and a half minutes before moving on.

    geonerdgeonerd2 aylar önce
  • i'd think some organisms could live on the ice. Also would mountains near the equator example like on hawaii been covered? and dont forget about the deep see vents and deep sea coral.

    Christophe BrelandChristophe Breland3 aylar önce
  • Omg you sound like the girl from animal logic Danielle Dufault .🙉

    Susana DiazSusana Diaz3 aylar önce
  • When you realize the yellowstone supervolcano could start another ice age... What's up April

    wpdh9102wpdh91023 aylar önce
  • The sun was 7% dimmer? Was that like, a sudden thing or has it just gotten gradually brighter over time? Why was this lept over??????? Please do a video on just how the sun affects the earth and how its changed!!

    COBALT-CoCOBALT-Co3 aylar önce
    • The Suns output ist increasing over time... The reason itself is rather complicated. A short, but in the end incomplete explanation can be found here:

      DundorilDundorilAylar önce
  • Where’s muscles Magee?

    TydinTydin3 aylar önce
  • these videos are addictive

    Anne MarieAnne Marie3 aylar önce
  • snowball earth reminds me a sad cold heart

    Leong Li YangLeong Li Yang3 aylar önce
  • Well cool method, but the location of the poles also changes? xD

    robizzlorrobizzlor3 aylar önce
  • “Breaking up wasn’t easy” ... it was for my ex 🥺

    Mauricio MarroquinMauricio Marroquin3 aylar önce
  • I love these videos! Thanks A LOT for your work, guys!

    I MI M3 aylar önce
  • Slushball Earth is such a great band name

    MxPronouncedMxPronounced3 aylar önce
  • why does the whole earth have to be frozen why cant their just be icebergs

    Christophe BrelandChristophe Breland3 aylar önce
  • so are we all descended from sponges?

    Connor DukeConnor Duke3 aylar önce
    • Connor Duke what does that even have to do with the video?

      JadeRabbit 9000JadeRabbit 90003 aylar önce
  • I was under The impression that volcanoes spew tons of particulate that blocks the sunlight. If you also ad in a unusual long orbit around the sun that can also make things very cold. We don't need to go back that far in time to see the destruction and weather disruption. Just read about the year without a summer.

    Patrick ComerfordPatrick Comerford3 aylar önce
  • I'm not a fan of high pitch voices, has nothing to do on if the voice is from male or female. BUT, even if i "dislike" her tone voice i love how she explains it and how passionate it sounds without looking overreacted. ¡Thanks for the content!

    No WanNo Wan3 aylar önce
  • Ironically, you can't spell "Hoth" without "Hot".

    Tony MidyettTony Midyett4 aylar önce

    TJay DetwilerTJay Detwiler4 aylar önce
  • Thanks for production - appreciate your energy and voice - great

    Greg BrownGreg Brown4 aylar önce
  • This is the best TRvision channel ever

    Matthew PillingMatthew Pilling4 aylar önce
  • Carbon cycle causing a snowball earth....absolute nonsense.

    BadHombreBadHombre4 aylar önce
    • Glenn J Panting He’s either a troll or one of the many religious fundamentalists that dislike all the videos and whine in all the comment sections about things they clearly have no understanding of, which are also trolls. Either way you can bet they’re a complete moron too stupid to realize how stupid they are.

      JadeRabbit 9000JadeRabbit 90003 aylar önce
  • So2 is not a green house gas but it indirectly affects or promote green house effect ...thats wat i've heard... And thats wat google search says ... And im confused after watching this episode...

    sunny vksunny vk4 aylar önce
    • @Dundoril do you have any proof?

      sunny vksunny vkAylar önce
    • Well it's a greenhouse gas... So maybe check the scientific papers and not the first google blogs on this... Because some of them are written by idiots who have no idea and some are just lying.

      DundorilDundorilAylar önce
  • I think glaciers SUCK

    Cool Hand LukeCool Hand Luke4 aylar önce
  • I really love watching PBS eons.

    Julio CasimJulio Casim4 aylar önce
  • Climate changing back and forth for eons before man started muckin about

    Lost AquarianLost Aquarian4 aylar önce
  • I love the way she says "eruption."

    WTX RailfanWTX Railfan4 aylar önce
  • I think it's pretty likely that snow ball earth set up the conditions that eventually led to the... Bill Wurtz: 🎶🎶🎵🎶♩ the Cambrian explosion! 🎵🎶♩🎶🎵

    Ameha KAmeha K4 aylar önce
  • She is hot enough to melt any ice.

    DeTar62DeTar624 aylar önce
  • That's cool

    The Cool Axolotl LoganThe Cool Axolotl Logan4 aylar önce
  • The background music gave me Minecraft vibes.

    Daniel_H212Daniel_H2124 aylar önce
  • She should be a narrator for I could listen to Kaylee all day long.

    Kurtis WaltonKurtis Walton4 aylar önce
  • She is gorgeous and I love her narration, I think I'm in love lol

    James BaldJames Bald4 aylar önce
  • How did this happen? a long time ago--acutally,never, and also now-nothing is nowhere. When? Never makes sense,Right? Like i said it didn't happen. Nothing was never anywhere. It's been so everywhere, you don't need a where you don't even need a when that's how "every" it gets.

    Definitely Not a WeebDefinitely Not a Weeb4 aylar önce
How Volcanoes Froze the Earth (Twice)