The Permian-Triassic Extinction Event, or the Great Dying, was the single larges extinction event in Earth's history. Around 252 million B.C.E., up to 90% of Earth's species disappeared from the fossil record.

This event falls into a period of galactic history between roughly 250 and 100 million B.C.E., during which no evidence of intelligent life exists. This mystery remained unsolved until 2358, when it was revealed that the Manraloth had tried to forcibly "ascend" all intelligent life to a higher plane of existence (TNG novel: The Buried Age).

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