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venerdì 17 gennaio 2020

The Mystifying Structures Hidden Within Earth’s Mantle



Source video: Seeker

As reported by Quanta Magazine, geologists have detected huge anomalies on the edge of the Earth’s core, where there are two gigantic ultra-hot rock bubbles. These two bubbles are located on opposite sides of the planet, one hidden under Africa, the other in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Quanta Magazine compared the “huge anomalies” to the iconic hairstyle of Princess Leia (Star Wars). A decade ago, scientists first used earthquake echoes to create a map of the Earth’s deep insides. Thanks to this mapping they saw the outlines of two large anomalies, unknown shapes that were on the edge of the Earth’s core. There are two main schools of thought among scientists regarding ultra hot rock bubbles. The first group of scientists claims that they are simply huge sets of columns of hot rock, while another group claims that the bubbles – so large as to drown the planet’s surface in an ocean of lava more than 100 kilometers deep – are distinct entities and not only a particularly hot region of the core. The two giant spots embedded in the depths of the Earth can affect anything from the structure of the island chains to mass extinction events.
Recent evidence supports the second field: Quanta Magazine reports that scientists found traces of ancient and unique rocks and isotopes in the magma that flowed upward from the bubbles – materials almost as old as Earth itself and not found anywhere else in the planet. However, a great mystery still surrounds these deeply buried “hot areas”. One theory is that they could be fragments of an object the size of Mars that collided with the earth. University of Maryland seismologist Vedran Lekić said to Quanta Magazine: It’s like having an object in the sky and asking, “Is it the moon?” And people would say no. “Is it the sun?” No. “What is this?” We do not know.”

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