An hour-long hailstorm from space bombarded the Earth 13,000 years ago - plunging the planet into a mini-ice age, scientists claimed today.
The catastrophe was caused by a disintegrating comet and saw the planet sprayed by thousands of frozen boulders made of ice and dust.
The collisions wiped out huge numbers of animal species all over the world, disrupted the lives of our stone age ancestors and triggered a freeze that lasted more than 1,000 years.
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