There’s been a lot of interesting news lately about the earth’s surface.
[Image: Via Wikipedia].
First, deep beneath Beijing, there is apparently “a reservoir holding as much water as the Arctic Ocean.”
Two scientists have just “analysed more than 600,000 seismic waves generated by earthquakes” – only to find that “the waves weakened below eastern Asia at depths between 600 and 1200 kilometres, corresponding to Earth’s lower mantle.” They thus concluded “that there must be massive amounts of water in porous mantle rock muffling the seismic waves mainly below Beijing, China.”
That water, they estimate, took no less than 200,000,000 years to accumulate there, dragged down, in large part, by the movements of plate tectonics.
But that’s nothing.
[Image: Via Wikipedia].
In other news, there seems to be “a huge hole in the earth’s crust on the sea bed,” described rather dramatically as “a gaping open wound in the Earth’s skin.”
Last month, a group of British marine geologists discovered that part of “the Earth’s crust was missing in an area covering thousands of square kilometres. The big gap is midway between the Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. They say the sea isn’t going to be sucked away – although they admit the discovery defies science.”
This also means that the mantle is showing.
As one of the scientists explained: “The oceanic crust is usually 6km to 7km thick but the Earth’s crust seems to be absent in this area of the Atlantic. Instead we have a window into the interior of the Earth, that simply shouldn’t be there, according to the standard ideas of how the Earth works.”
He asks: “Was the crust never there? Was it once there but then torn away on huge geological faults? If so, then how and why?”
To help answer these questions they’ll use “a robotic sea-bed drill to explore the area in more detail,” hoping to “find out what bizarre mechanisms were in place to lead to the mantle being exposed.”
A whole slew of commenters on Metafilter then chimed in, pointing out this absurd plot summary of The Core… A film I will admit to never having seen.
Meanwhile, it turns out there is also a gigantic crater hidden beneath the visible surface of north-central California. “The 5.5km-wide bowl is buried under shale sediments west of Stockton, in San Joaquin County,” the BBC reports, and it “is thought to be between 37 and 49 million years old.”
It has been dubbed the Victoria Island Structure.
“Data from a 3D seismic survey of an ancient sea bed clearly shows a circular structure buried 1,490-1,600m (4,890-4,250ft) below sea level” – but some think this “circular structure” is not a crater at all.
Some think it is a buried spaceship, bearing the name of Jesu…
In any case, the crater may actually have been created during an event known as “the late Eocene bombardment… an episode of multiple impacts” that took place roughly 35 million years ago. This “bombardment” also generated “one of the largest craters in the world – the 45km-wide (28 miles) Chesapeake Bay structure on the eastern shore of North America.”
[Image: The Chesapeake Bay structure, via Wikipedia].
Finally, you can take it with you: the surface of Ireland, I mean.
Thanks to the Auld Sod Export Co., you can import “official Irish dirt” through “a new patented process.” This “process” is not further explained.
The company “allows Immigrants of Irish decent [sic]” – but no one else? – “to keep part of their heritage, the Irish connection to their land, in their new homes. Its uses vary but mainly it serves as a connection to home by giving all of life’s milestones a traditional Irish feel.” They recommend scattering this official Irish dirt “over the casket or grave of a dearly departed loved one.”
Your portion of the Irish earth even comes with a refund policy.
How much stranger, though, will geological surveys someday be! When bits of Ireland are found lining the graveyards of Boston!
The shores of England are already part-French, for instance, as architect Sam Jacob pointed out last Spring. He writes of news that “Lyme Regis beach [is] being restored with French sand and Norwegian rocks. This will certainly puzzle future geologists, perhaps precipitating erroneous revisions to plate tectonic theory.”
So would this make The Auld Sod Export Co. a kind of rogue agent, resurfacing the earth in secret? A deliberate plan to forsake the science of geology?
Might they even be responsible for the deepsea mantle-hole?
And what would happen if someone places far too large an order? Could Ireland itself be ground up – and FedEx’d to a ranch in Texas?
Our investigations will continue.
(Thanks to John Devlin for the Californian crater link).