Tsunami 'Hit NYC' 2,300 Years Ago

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2009 5:58 PM CDT
A car passes a sign advising which direction to head in case of a tsunami on the Hoh Indian Reservation in Washington, Dec. 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Strange debris strewn around Long Island proves that a tsunami slammed into the New York City region some 2,300 years ago, one scientist says. The balls of gravel he discovered, which match the dates of ancient fossils in the area, needed a powerful aquatic push to send them where they landed. "If we're wrong, it was one heck of a storm," Steven Goodbred tells the BBC.

Atlantic tsunamis are unusual and old ones hard to verify, one geologist cautions. But Goodbred plans to round up and carbon date more debris as proof. He's open to ideas of what triggered the massive wave, but remains noncommittal about one claim that a meteor struck the Hudson River in 300BC. An underwater landslide is more likely. "The tsunami story stands on its own without the impact," he said.