The new meteorite evidence may tip the scales toward the tsunami theory. Even so, Goodbred stressed that the research is still in its early stages.
"There are two unique hypotheses here"—the tsunami and the storm—"and either one or both may yet be proven incorrect," he said.
Geologist Ted Bryant of the University of Wollongong in Australia said an extraterrestrial impact is the most likely explanation for the spherules and nanodiamonds.
Abbott's "discoveries cannot be reproduced by processes naturally occurring in the New York region," said Bryant, who was not involved in the new study.
"Is her hypothesis wild? No. Is it unconventional? Yes," he added. "But so was continental drift when it was first proposed."
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