The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834, by Joseph Mallord William Turner, c. 1835. © The Philadelphia Museum of Art / Art Resource.

Disaster

Volume IX, Number 2 | spring 2016

Miscellany

The first mass extinction on earth occurred around 2.5 billion years ago, when a photosynthesizing bacterium appeared and released so much oxygen into the atmosphere that anaerobic life was largely wiped out. This is often called the Great Oxygenation Event, the Oxygen Catastrophe, or the Oxygen Holocaust. 

All the married heiresses I have known have shipwrecked.

—Benjamin Disraeli, 1880