How Volcanoes Froze the Earth (Twice)

  • Published on: 17 July 2019
  • 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:

    Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:
    Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, MissyElliottSmith, The Scintillating Spencer, AA, Zachary Spencer, Stefan Weber, Ilya Murashov, Charles Kahle, Robert Amling, Po Foon Kwong, Larry Wilson, Merri Snaidman, John Vanek, Neil H. Gray, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, الخليفي سلطان, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Philip Slingerland, Jose Garcia, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Alex Yan

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  • Runtime : 10:59
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history eoproterozoic icehouse feedback climate carbon cycle dropstones cap carbonates glacial glaciers ice sheets sulfur flood basalts large igneous province snowball earth magnetostratigraphy rodinia slushball earth solar flux cryogenian ediacaran sturtian marinoan varagner


  • Warpmine
    Warpmine   3 days ago

    CO2 is a trace gas and would never affect anything this person says other than plant growth. Look for another boogeyman like solar hibernation, axis tilt and volcanic activity spewing huge amounts of matter(Mt. St. Helens) Krakatoa which will dampen the sunlight before hitting the Earth's surface. Bottom line is this, many conditions need to line up before an extended ice age happens. Remember this, the planet's orbit is elliptical and the our planet wobbles around the sun.

  • moebigsley1976
    moebigsley1976   4 days ago

    The methods they come up with to find the evidence is quite genius.

  • Bleikr Sound
    Bleikr Sound   1 weeks ago

    Request for Eons - would like to see a segment about the geologic age when Earth became inundated with iron - some call the 'rusting of the planet'. - Thanks!

  • Zeebra237
    Zeebra237   1 weeks ago

    Volcanoes erupt and spew ash which blocks the sun.Google this: "1816 year without a summer."

  • David Jack
    David Jack   1 weeks ago

    I have a crush on the girl speaking in this video

  • Chris
    Chris   1 weeks ago

    I truly hate the geographical terms. They pick long and difficult names for who knows what reason.

  • AlessioAndres
    AlessioAndres   1 weeks ago

    The best narrator on this channel! I would pay you to read to me haha^^ Thank you :*

  • A Simple Dog
    A Simple Dog   2 weeks ago

    "we still have glaciers today!" not for long were entering fireball earth era!!!

  • Thornback
    Thornback   2 weeks ago

    can you please also use the metric system, it broadens your material to the rest of the world and gives users of the imperial system reference and knowledge of the universal scale. There is no good reason to not use both scales.

  • Ace Anthony Referiza
    Ace Anthony Referiza   3 weeks ago

    Is it just me or does it feel like a lot of the terms she is using doesn't sound scientific enough?

  • Paul Dub
    Paul Dub   3 weeks ago

    Clear and concise explaining thanks

  • jeremy Mizer
    jeremy Mizer   3 weeks ago

    Finally PBS is on a platform that will pay them for their amazing work

  • Andy Smith
    Andy Smith   3 weeks ago

    Lasts 15 million years,what does that even mean

  • Max Luv
    Max Luv   4 weeks ago

    Why not tell the people the truth?

  • Max Luv
    Max Luv   4 weeks ago

    There was a tectonic plate movement,in witch caused masses amounts of volcanoes to erupt,putting a lot heat as well,causing the earth to heat up,in the center of our planet,causing the cold to go down to the poles & flash freeze the poles,just like in Antarctica is today,with frozen Tsunamis waves over it & all the sort in the sky,blanket the earth & cooled it down,causing the ice age & when the sort,cleared enough,to let the sun shine though,it started melting the ice back,just like what there doing now,there spraying the sky's around the world,in as many countries as they can,it cools down the center of our planet & causes the heat,to go to the poles & melt the poles,

  • Abstract Russian
    Abstract Russian   4 weeks ago

    Are you ready kids?Aye-aye captain.I can't hear you...Aye-aye captain!Ohhhhhh! Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

  • Shamir George
    Shamir George   1 months ago

    Isn't this supposed to be taught at universities? Reminds of me of TOEFL exams.

  • 45 ACP
    45 ACP   1 months ago

    Man, scientists are dumb. Volcanos aren't cold.

  • Jamie Owns
    Jamie Owns   1 months ago

    I wonder what the shape the continents will take in 250 million years. Is continental shift fast or slow? or a mix?

  • Jamie Owns
    Jamie Owns   1 months ago

    Honestly to find out the truth it needs Chemistry, Biology, Astrophysics and Geology to come together. It's the only way to find out the truth. Space events could easily trigger an ice age and were believed to do so million or so years ago. Also, the equator is funny. Because it's very mixed. Sure it's warm but you also got large tropics. And the hottest place on earth is California. Which is the worst place to put a huge city. With unrestricted growth. No wonder it gets forest fires it's been stealing it's water from the land for decades. it ran the underground water dry I believe. And is stealing water from ranchers up north. transporting it to the city. Then you got Las Vegas another desert city....That sun idea makes sense. Because in a billion years today it will be 10% brighter. and will be able to boil our oceans. And some think that it may be able to split the molecular bonds of h20. And the Hydrogen will escape into space. Kinda interesting.

  • Eric Zetterlund
    Eric Zetterlund   1 months ago

    Don't leave me hanging like that! How did the sponges do it!???

  • Julia Naylor
    Julia Naylor   1 months ago

    Breaking up is hard to do, stop naming Neil Sedaka song.😂

  • Julia Naylor
    Julia Naylor   1 months ago

    Snowball Earth sounds like a giant cocktail.😂

  • redemption
    redemption   1 months ago

    "Snowball earth" don't you mean Hoth?

  • blue smurff
    blue smurff   1 months ago

    This made me appreciate how incredible it is for life to exist on earth

  • Roberto
    Roberto   1 months ago

    The real question is how earth defrost😜

  • arno kosterman
    arno kosterman   1 months ago

    As we clossing in to the sunThings got heat up😍💜To hold the solarsystem together we have manivestet a amptines for oll the energi to hold on en go treu energy goos in the direction of the proton of this system.Metterstate travles inwards so the eurth presence the meterstate there fore we are going inwardts😍

  • Ray Johnson
    Ray Johnson   1 months ago

    Hoth. They are naming Hoth not Earth

  • John Beauchamp
    John Beauchamp   1 months ago

    So can we just grind up a bunch of basalt and dump it into the ocean to sequester CO2 and undo climate change?

  • Hajger89
    Hajger89   1 months ago

    I bet Icelanders would like it there.

  • Chad Coley
    Chad Coley   1 months ago

    What if human lead climate change leads to another snowball earth era hahahahaha

  • Sweet Williams
    Sweet Williams   1 months ago

    lowkey the spokes lady is kinda hot. Super interesting information in these pbs videos too, kinda addicted

  • Adam Brown
    Adam Brown   1 months ago

    Man, if only those sponges had banded together to stop climate change before the glaciers melted and flooded everything. How ever could life survive with temperatures over 40F?

  • Sophie Shenkal
    Sophie Shenkal   2 months ago

    I love love love this channel! It reminds me of just how special, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind our planet is. Thank you PSB Eons