Study links periodic mass extinctions to “Planet X”


According to research published by a faculty member of the University of Arkansas Department of Mathematical Sciences, Daniel Whitmire, periodic mass extinctions on Earth, as indicated in the global fossil record, could be linked to a suspected ninth planet. 

Whitmire's new research, published in the January issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, says that as yet undiscovered “Planet X” triggers comet showers linked to mass extinctions on Earth at intervals of approximately 27 million years.

Though scientists have been looking for Planet X for 100 years, the possibility that it’s real got a big boost recently when researchers from Caltech inferred its existence based on orbital anomalies seen in objects in the Kuiper Belt, a disc-shaped region of comets and other larger bodies beyond Neptune. If the Caltech researchers are correct, Planet X is about 10 times the mass of Earth and could currently be up to 1 000 times more distant from the Sun.

Whitmire and his colleague, John Matese, first published research on the connection between Planet X and mass extinctions in the journal Nature in 1985 while working as astrophysicists at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Their work was featured in a 1985 Time magazine cover story titled, “Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs? A Bold New Theory About Mass Extinctions.”

At the time, there were three explanations proposed to explain the regular comet showers: Planet X, the existence of a sister star to the Sun, and vertical oscillations of the Sun as it orbits the galaxy. The last two ideas have subsequently been ruled out as inconsistent with the paleontological record. Only Planet X remained as a viable theory, and it is now gaining renewed attention.

Whitemire and Matese’s theory is that as Planet X orbits the Sun, its tilted orbit slowly rotates and Planet X passes through the Kuiper belt of comets every 27 million years, knocking comets into the inner solar system. The dislodged comets not only smash into the Earth, they also disintegrate in the inner solar system as they get nearer to the Sun, reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth.

In 1985, a look at the paleontological record supported the idea of regular comet showers dating back 250 million years. Newer research shows evidence of such events dating as far back as 500 million years.

Whitmire and Matese published their own estimate on the size and orbit of Planet X in their original study. They believed it would be between one and five times the mass of Earth, and about 100 times more distant from the sun, much smaller numbers than Caltech’s estimates.

Matese has since retired and no longer publishes. Whitmire retired from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2012 and began teaching at the University of Arkansas in 2013.

Whitmire says what’s really exciting is the possibility that a distant planet may have had a significant influence on the evolution of life on Earth. 

“I’ve been part of this story for 30 years,” he said. “If there is ever a final answer I’d love to write a book about it.”


The 27 Myr period in the fossil extinction record has been confirmed in modern data bases dating back 500 Myr, which is twice the time interval of the original analysis from 30 years ago. The surprising regularity of this period has been used to reject the Nemesis model. A second model based on the Sun's vertical Galactic oscillations has been challenged on the basis of an inconsistency in period and phasing. The third astronomical model originally proposed to explain the periodicity is the Planet X model in which the period is associated with the perihelion precession of the inclined orbit of a trans-Neptunian planet. Recently, and unrelated to mass extinctions, a trans-Neptunian super-Earth planet has been proposed to explain the observation that the inner Oort cloud objects Sedna and 2012VP113 have perihelia that lie near the ecliptic plane. In this Letter, we reconsider the Planet X model in light of the confluence of the modern palaeontological and outer Solar system dynamical evidence.

Source: University of Arkansas


  • "Periodic mass extinctions and the Planet X model reconsidered" – David Whitmire – MNRAS (January 01, 2016) 455 (1):L114-L117. DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slv157

Featured image credit: NASA/Goddard


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  1. Read revelations chapter 12 all the things it saids will be put in motion at the end of September 2017 be4 the total eclipse of the sun better prepare the red dragon will show it self time for a renewal of our mother earth to many humans destoying her

  2. I have a problem with the time intervals in this article, twenty seven million years seems a bunch too much. Maybe it takes twenty seven million years for life to rebound from a passing. There are so many religious buffs who though they use their religion to explain the origins of life and its final collapse cannot accept Zecharia Sitchen’s plain, proven, most likely explanations for all we know of life on Earth and the times of catastrophe? What scares me is the fact that we know so little of the past. As well as, the frantic rush to get gold today. Put these together and read Sitchen’s work, it does all become so clear. I do believe we are creations of the Anunnaki and I do believe Nibiru is coming, better than any religion, without the passion and hatred, war, just something that happens ever so often and there is nothing we can do about it.

  3. very interesting book to read , very much evidence from all around our world . When the Earth Nearly Died: Compelling Evidence of a Catastrophic World … by D.S. Allan, J.B. Delair (ISBN: 9781858600086)

  4. Inhave been investigating “planet x” since 2008. I have read numerous articles and listened to many people from a wide range of society give their thoughts on various research on this phenomena.
    Most recently, I read a book entitled, “Planet X The Sign Of The Son Of Man And The End Of The Age” by Douglas A. Elwell. In it he investigates the historical evidence, as recorded by ancient cultures and civilizations, of the possibility of a celestial body, traveling on an eliptical orbit around our sun and the recorded catastrophic effects it may have as it enters our solar system and makes it’s turn around our sun and flies by our known celestial bodies.
    Something certainly causes periodic cataclysm on our planet as recorded by ancient cultures and in the geological record. Whether it is arogue ninth planet or not remains to be seen.

  5. Oh silly trolls, I hope even you do not believe your own lie. And your authentic Wikipedia source. Nibiru/Wormwood/Planet X/The Destroyer is indeed coming. And so is Jesus. And I pray you’re ready for both. Mock and Scoff now. Beg for God’s Mercy later.

  6. HERES HOW IT IS,…ALL your scientists are PAID WHORES AND LIARS,they won’t tell the truth even if it kills them and their family,THEY have SOLD their soul to SATAN for bread crumbs,NIBIRU is upon us,IT does this every 12,500 years,total destruction of everything,LOOK at your scientists,Have they ever been right about ANYTHING ..NO they haven’t and the reason is their ALL paid whores and misfits,nibiru is in the SKY NOW,when the main sun shows up,it’ll be way to late to get ready,watch the whores in your government,DO they appear to be getting ready for something…YES…..nibiru….

  7. Funny how people like stuff to something that doesn’t exist. Planet X or Nibiru is a joke. It’s a figment of an insane woman’s imagination.


    The Nibiru cataclysm is a supposed disastrous encounter between the Earth and a large planetary object (either a collision or a near-miss) which certain groups believe will take place in the early 21st century. Believers in this doomsday event usually refer to this object as Planet X or Nibiru. The idea that a planet-sized object will collide with or closely pass by Earth in the near future is not supported by any scientific evidence and has been rejected as pseudoscience and an internet hoax by astronomers and planetary scientists.[2][3]

    The idea was first put forward in 1995 by Nancy Lieder,[4][5] founder of the website ZetaTalk. Lieder describes herself as a contactee with the ability to receive messages from extraterrestrials from the Zeta Reticuli star system through an implant in her brain. She states that she was chosen to warn mankind that the object would sweep through the inner Solar System in May 2003 (though that date was later postponed) causing Earth to undergo a physical pole shift that would destroy most of humanity.[6] The prediction has subsequently spread beyond Lieder’s website and has been embraced by numerous Internet doomsday groups, most of which linked the event to the 2012 phenomenon.

  8. Ok, if there had been a 10th planet, now the asteroid belt, that was once a member of the other 9 (still counting Pluto) then it was the one that blew up due to self-combustion. Obviously it was a BIG DEAL when that happened, would have been HUGE and have caused much changes upon the earth as well as the other surrounding planets—maybe that’s where a majority of those craters came from on the moon. With there having been modern mans footprints along side those of the dinosaurs, it would explain why the Sumerians had a record of this 10th planet and that this is what happened to cause a mass extinction all those millions of years ago of the dinos. Too bad they’re giving credence to that loon Nancy Lieder and her book selling hero.

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