Meghalayan Age FTW! Image: Thinkstock
The brief history of Earth has turned a new leaf, and geologists are calling it the Meghalayan Age. So, if you're ever asked at a pop quiz which age we're living in, the answer is not the age of anarchy, okay?
Let us explain. Imagine that Earth's age was a large pepperoni pizza called the Holocene — the current geological epoch that began approximately 11,700 calendar years ago — but you concentrate on the pizza analogy. Scientists have cut 'em up into slices of time, each representing a particular age. And the one that we're hogging on right now has been termed the Meghalayan Age.
So, why Meghalayan? Sediments collected from a stalagmite found in Mawmluh Cave in Meghalaya helped define this period. Hence, it was only fair that it be named such.
Now, the Meghalayan Age has been in existence for the last 4,200 years and is said to have begun with a drought that destroyed a number of civilisations around the world. The ages that preceded the Meghalayan are Northgrippian (8,200-4,200) and Greenlandian (1,700-8,200), respectively.
As Indians, we're proud. Not because it is named after an Indian state (it's not, really) but because a piece of rock that helped redefine history was found here. And we assure you this particular Indianised naming wasn't brought about by political pressure, rather plate-tectonic pressure. But there are still a few non-believers, who've been debating the Holocene itself, and are proposing a different epoch entirely, called the Anthropocene. Naturally, they are not too kicked about the Meghalayan Age. Mark Maslin, a professor of Geography at University College London, told the BBC, "It's official, we're in a new age; who knew?" mocking the abrupt imposition of the era.
Some, of course, failed to understand how the naming worked. There, there. We will let the excitement sink in first.