What is the Great Dying in The Rig?

In ‘The Rig’, the crew of Kinloch Bravo goes up against a bacteria that is trying to cause a mass extinction event much similar to the Great Dying.

Every other person who gets exposed to the Ancestor starts having these visions where they see a big wave coming. They start drawing mysterious circles that are signaling something.

Rose attempts to decode these circles when the crew notices them growing underwater. Rose also discovers that Fulmer has been drawing the same circles after being exposed to the Ancestor.

When Cat looks at the circles and mentions how they look like the rings of a tree, Rose realizes that the bacteria they are investigating is using these circles to measure time.

The gap between these circles matches the time between each of the five major extinction events. The latest circle is the Great Dying, and the last circle is their world.

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How devastating was the Great Dying?

The Great Dying, also known as the Permian–Triassic extinction event or the End-Permian Extinction, caused 81% of marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species to go extinct. The event took place around 251.9 million years ago.

The main cause is considered to be the volcanic eruptions of Siberian traps, which led to a rise in global temperatures and ocean acidification.

What is the Great Dying in The Rig? 1
Rose figures out the Ancestor’s goal to trigger an extinction event similar to the Great Dying

It’s also believed that the greenhouse gases coming out of Siberian traps severely affected the ozone layers, which in turn affected life on the planet.

The Great Dying is the Earth’s most severe known extinction event. It is disputed that the planet took around 5 to 10 million years to recover, owing to the severity of the event.

Does The Rig recreate the Great Dying?

‘The Rig’ only hints at an extinction similar to the Great Dying. The highly intelligent bacteria called the Ancestor instead triggers an event similar to the Storegga Slide to erase humanity from its existence.

The Storegga Slides were a series of submarine landslides responsible for causing large tsunamis across the North Atlantic Ocean somewhere between 6225 and 6170 BCE.

Towards the end of ‘The Rig’, the lead characters, Captain Magnus, Rose, and Fulmer, try to collaborate with the Ancestor to stop a similar event from occurring, but they run out of time.

The trio and the surviving members of Kinloch Bravo escape the tsunami that destroys the oil rigs of Bravo and Charlie. The tsunami then heads toward the people in the cities, who have no idea about this oncoming wave.

Also Read: The Rig review: Fascinating and terrifying