What was Earth’s biggest explosion?

About 4.5 billion years ago, a Mars-size body slammed into the young Earth, which likely created the moon. (Image credit: johan63/Getty Images)

From early asteroid bombardment to the development of nuclear weapons, some massive detonations have battered our planet. But Earth‘s biggest explosion varies by the scale you’re considering, from human-created to blasts from giant space rocks. 

Among the largest human-caused explosions on record, a Soviet superweapon called Tsar Bomba tops the list. Meanwhile, the biggest explosion with a terrestrial origin came from the climate-altering Toba supervolcano more than 70,000 years ago. As for the biggest blast from an extraterrestrial source that left clear evidence, an asteroid heftier than the one that killed the dinosaurs carved the enormous Vredefort crater 2 billion years ago.

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