230 million years ago, the Earth was populated by dinosaurs. And well before that, about 400 million years ago, there were giant scorpions. Let us explain.
A team of geologists behind the discovery
Surprisingly, this discovery was not made by archaeologists, but by geologists who found a rock at the bottom of the ocean. When the geologists split it in two, they discovered the fossil of a scorpion's claw.
The latter measures about 46 centimetres and was identified as belonging to the Jaekolopterus rhenaniae. Can you imagine how many things it could kill with the size of its massive pincers?
A gigantic marine monster
Interestingly, this species of scorpion happens to be aquatic and so our chances of coming face to face with it (even if it still did roam the planet) would be very slim.
According to the dimensions of the claw researchers retrieved, the Jaekolopterus rhenaniae had to measure around two and a half meters. A huge scorpion much larger than humans, which sowed terror in the seas as well as in rivers.
Scientists explain the imposing size of the predator by saying that a particularly high level of oxygen in the atmosphere at that time, would have been responsible for its ability to grow so massively.
But that's not all of the oversized animals that existed back in the day. In case you ever wanted to time travel, if you were to go back to this time period, expect to come across millipedes, dragonflies, or even oversized cockroaches.