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The Earth as viewed from a composite of NASA satellite images from space in the early 2000s. While it may seem like a tall order to end all human life on the planet from an external threat, the Universe is more than up to the challenge. NASA / Blue Marble Project. Wiping out all life on Earth is hard, but causing mass extinctions is easy. The 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo was the largest volcanic eruption to occur in our lifetimes. One that was perhaps 10,000 times the magnitude of this could threaten human life on Earth, and perhaps volcanism was the cause of at least one of our previous major mass extinctions. Albert Garcia. Five major extinction events have occurred since the Cambrian ex... Full story

25 March