Even though it seemed unlikely that they could have had survived the collision, the buckyballs had not disintegrated. And their existence indicated that life may indeed have been "seeded" on this planet by objects from elsewhere, i.e. by panspermia.
Arrangements of carbon atoms in a shape resembling a geodesic dome constitute buckyballs--named after R. Buckminster Fuller, the architectural designer of such domes.
An April 14, 1996 AUFORA News Update revealed that on April 12, 1996, a report was released by United States scientists which provided support for the panspermia theory. It dealt with a site not far from Sudbury, Ontario, created by an impact from something the size of Mt. Everest.
The 1.85 billion-year-old, 60-by-27 kilometer crater was searched for buckyballs. By then analyzing helium isotopes from within these forms, scientists ascertained the objects were not from Earth.
Until now, the general run of thought was that carbon-based molecules could not survive such a collision. However, Robert Poreda--one of the writers of the scientific report--said, "If a meteorite or comet can deliver intact carbon molecules to the Earth's surface, it is likely that other organic compounds can survive the impact."
And thus, celestial objects may have provided the planet with what it would have lacked otherwise--and helped create life.