About 650 million years ago, the Sturtian ice age turned our planet into Snowball Earth. When the planet warmed again, it was plunged into a hothouse phase that unleashed phosphates, oxygen, and other elements necessary to build multicellular life.
Life on Earth goes back at least two billion years, but it was only in the last half-billion that it would have been visible to the naked eye.
From Ars Technica
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