October 28, 2021
What lies deep beneath our feet ? Image Credit: NASA
A new study has suggested that parts of the Earth's core might not be quite as solid as previously thought.
For centuries, mankind has speculated over what might lie deep beneath our feet.
It was once thought that the interior of our planet might be a large hollow space - potentially even large enough to harbor an entire 'lost world' - but this idea was thrown out when modern science determined that the Earth's core was in fact a large, solid sphere of compressed iron alloy.
Now though, new research has cast even this into doubt, reopening the debate over whether or not there really could be some sort of 'hollow Earth' hidden deep underground.
The Earth's core is a notoriously difficult place to investigate - leaving scientists with relatively few tools at their disposal to figure out exactly what's down there.
The best idea we have of what lies at the center of the Earth is based on what can be ascertained by studying the seismic waves produced by earthquakes as they ripple through the planet.
While researchers had previously only ever discovered evidence that the core is solid, geophysicist Rhett Butler and colleagues at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology have since found tantalising signs that at least parts of the Earth's core may actually be more liquid or 'mushy'.
Their findings were based on a study of the seismic waves produced by five earthquakes.
"We've seen evidence that not only is it not soft everywhere; it's really hard in some places," said Butler. "It's got hard surfaces right up against melted or mushy iron."
"So we're seeing a lot of detail within the inner core that we didn't see before."
While there is still work to be done in confirming these findings, the research does suggest that there is a lot more we have yet to learn about the center of our planet.
Who knows, perhaps if some of it is liquid, there could even be empty spaces down there too.
Source: Live Science
Thanks to: https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com