The Holocene Extinction: The Sixth Mass Extinction


History is made everyday.

Theoretically it sounds as though I am just stating the obvious. But coming to the point, we are currently experiencing a landmark event in the history of the Earth: The Holocene Extinction Event or the Sixth Mass Extinction phase.


What is the Holocene Extinction?

The Holocene extinction event, also called the Sixth extinction, is the widespread, ongoing mass extinction of species during the modern Holocene Epoch.

The Holocene Epoch is the current period of geological time. It began around 12000 years ago and continues till today.

This period is also termed as the Anthropocene Epoch, since the primary global changes were/are a result of human activity.


Cause: Humans. Yes, one word: humans. Humans of the World.

Consequence: Several features have already become extinct and many others are in the process.




A look at the other 5 phases of mass extinction in the history of the Earth:



This mass extinction phase lasted for several years and had two peak dying times separated from each other by hundred thousand years. At this time, most life was in the sea and so the number of sea creatures was drastically reduced.


Late Devonian

This phase was more like a series of extinctions spread over many years, and not a single event. Three-fourths of the Earth’s species were wiped out. Shallow seas and life forms like the coral reefs were most badly hit.



This phase of mass extinction is also sometimes referred to as The Great Dying because 96% of all species on Earth died out. All life that is present on Earth today has descended from the mere 4% of species that survived the Permian Extinction.



This mass extinction phase is the combined effects of the two to three phases of extinction that occurred in the final 18 million years of the period. The cause of the life loss has been attributed to climate change, flood basalt eruptions and an asteroid impact.



This is also known as the K/T Extinction. It is the most famous mass extinction phase for it led to the death of dinosaurs. Many other organisms also perished. The major blame for this phase can go to volcanoes.




Currently, there is a lot of hype over the Jurassic World movie and everyone who watches the movie wanting to visit an island like that. People wish to see dinosaurs alive again.

Well it is a little difficult to construct a world with extinct animals right?

If things continue to go the way they are, soon we will be wishing for a world with most of the animals and plants that exist now but are becoming extinct in the blink of an eye.

As unfortunate as it is, the Holocene Extinction is very real and it is happening right now.



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