Despite decades worth of research and debates, what is happening beneath Earth’s surface and what effect it has on our planet is still shrouded in mystery. However, scientists have created 3D models of mysterious structures beneath the Pacific Ocean and beneath Africa which could be jam-packed full of lava. Earth’s molten core helps to protect the planet from solar radiation and is responsible for geometric north and south, among other things.
However, where it officially ends is still up for debate, and radar mapping of the subsurface revealed anomalous blobs which are akin to “mega-continents in the underworld”.
One of the blobs is found beneath Africa and the other beneath the Pacific Ocean.
Their placement is dictated by Earth’s tectonic plates, but no plate has subjected – when one moves beneath the other, pushing cooler rocks deeper into the surface – over the regions in 100 million years.
Saskia Goes of Imperial College London, told Quanta Magazine: “It’s the absence of cold material that makes these relatively hot.”
The blobs are so big that they measure more than 100 times the height of Mt Everest – the tallest mountain on the planet.
Ed Garnero, a seismologist at Arizona State University, told Quanta Magazine: “These are the largest things on the planet. Only recently have I started thinking, ‘Wow, this is potentially super profound.’”
And if these mysterious blobs were to rise up, it could be enough to coat Earth in a lava lake 100 kilometres (62 miles) deep, putting an end to all of life on Earth.
Quanta Magazine wrote: “If you somehow brought them to the surface, God forbid, they contain enough material to cover the entire globe in a lava lake roughly 100 kilometres deep.”
Since their discovery in the late 20th century, theories have been raging about what the blobs are.
One theory is they are parts of the Earth’s core which has broken away, consisting of ‘thermochemical piles’ of dense rock.
Another theory is they are their own formations in themselves, being as old as Earth itself and playing a major part in our planet’s evolution.
A third theory is that they came from ‘Theia’ – a Mars sized planet which crashed into Earth 4.5 billion years ago, sending chunks of our planet into space, which would go on to form the Moon.
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Vedran Lekić, a seismologist at the University of Maryland, said experts are no closer to unravelling the mystery of the anomalous blobs.
He told Quanta Magazine: “It would be like having an object in the sky, and asking, ‘Is that the moon?’
“And people are like, no. ‘Is that the sun?’ No. ‘What is it?’ We don’t know!
“Whatever it is, it is intimately tied to the evolution of the Earth.”
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