Scientists Discover Huge ‘Ocean’ Hidden Beneath Earth’s Surface

Scientists Discover Huge ‘Ocean’ Hidden Beneath Earth’s Surface

A groundbreaking discovery has unveiled a colossal ocean hidden beneath the Earth’s surface, challenging our understanding of the planet’s water origins and its vast underground mysteries. This subterranean body of water, found embedded within a mineral called ringwoodite located over 400 miles beneath the Earth’s mantle, surpasses all surface seas in size by three times. Identified just a decade ago in 2014, the existence of such an immense ocean deep within the Earth presents a radical shift in scientific perspectives on where Earth’s water might have originated.

Previously, some geologists speculated that Earth’s water was delivered via comets that impacted the planet. However, the discovery of water in ringwoodite supports a new theory suggesting that our oceans gradually seeped out from the planet’s interior. This revelation not only reshapes our understanding of Earth’s hydrological depth but also hints at the complex geological processes that operate far beneath the surface.

The exploration into this hidden ocean was led by geophysicist Steve Jacobsen and his team, who employed a network of 2,000 seismometers to analyze seismic waves generated by over 500 earthquakes. These waves, echoing through the Earth’s layers, act like a sonar, revealing clues about the composition of the rocks they pass through. Jacobsen’s team discovered that seismic waves slow down significantly when passing through hydrated ringwoodite, suggesting the presence of water. This mineral has the unique capability to attract hydrogen and trap water, potentially containing up to 1.5 percent water by weight under high-pressure conditions of the deep mantle.

The implications of this discovery are profound. Jacobsen believes it provides credible evidence of a whole-Earth water cycle that might explain the abundant presence of liquid water on Earth’s surface, vital for sustaining life as we know it. This hidden ocean not only underscores the dynamic nature of Earth’s geology but also poses intriguing questions about the planetary cycles that transport water from deep within the Earth to the surface.

The ongoing research aims to ascertain whether this subterranean ocean envelops the entire planet, which would further confirm the global scale of this hydrological phenomenon. The existence of such a massive reservoir of water hidden deep below our feet is a testament to the planet’s enduring enigma and the continual quest of science to unravel the secrets of Earth’s inner workings. This discovery not only expands our geographical and geological knowledge but also enhances our understanding of Earth’s evolutionary history and its environmental future.