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Let's say that a mega-asteroid is heading towards Earth. I want it to destroy essentially the entire population except maybe a few million people around the world. Now, I know that for an asteroid of this size, we would like have a couple of years of warning at the very least, but let's say that in the chaos and panic, many people die, and not everyone gets to escape.

Those that do, what would be the best way to survive the explosion? Underground vaults deep beneath the soil? Underwater habitats maybe? How long would they have to stay there until it was time to come out, given that there were likely be a cooling period as the debris blocks out the sun?

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closed as too broad by StephenG, Renan, Separatrix, Hohmannfan, We are Monica. Sep 17 at 10:33

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure this is a duplicate question on this forum because I remember providing the rather unpopular answer that the asteroid could be as small as a few grams as long as it was composed of a virulent life form which was fatal to the planet's indigenous inhabitants. I also remember that there were a lot of high-science/math-rich answers to that question. I would suggest searching for that question and perhaps sharpening your question to focus on the "how some survive" question. Oh, and welcome to WorldBuilders! $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Sep 17 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ The stuff about how to survive is just too broad by miles. The single asteroid large enough to kill 99% of humanity would be unlikely to leave any survivors in the long run as the Earth's eco system and climate would be wiped out, ala dionsaurs. You'd be more or less starting complex life on Earth from scratch. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Sep 17 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ Actually the best chances of an asteroid killing 99.9% of the population is an asteroid which kills about 10% of the population instantly, and 89.9% dies of other causes - mainly hunger - in the inmediate aftermath. The best way to survive the explosion is not being close. The best way be one of the "lucky" 0.1% is just plain dumb luck and statistics. $\endgroup$ – Rekesoft Sep 17 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ Please break it down in two posts, as there are two questions here. $\endgroup$ – Renan Sep 17 at 9:35
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Type "asteroid calculator" into google. Kapow!!

I doubt we would get a few years warning if it did happen, even if the world governments knew a few years ahead they would likely keep it quite for as long as possible. In the event of a cataclysmic asteroid there would be a mass extinction. But that asteroid would not have to be very large by comparison to the size of earth. It may only have to strike the right spot or be made up of the right materials to cause this type of event. Surprisingly quite a lot of us could survive. An asteroid large enough to kill 99.9% would likely be large enough to completely obliterate the Earth itself and so that 0.01% would have to have been in space to survive. At that point I'm pretty sure earth would be a no hope for life situation. The inside of the earth would be out, the possibility of habitation nil.

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