For the entire duration of human existence, we have been trying to make sense of the planet we have been living on, called Earth.
Humans have come quite far in understanding the small blue planet we call home, and the solar system it resides in, but there is still a lot of questions that need answers. Researchers have discovered some quite outrageous facts about Earth throughout their research, and some of these discoveries have broken previously established understandings of our planet.
Below you will find five facts about Earth that aren't common knowledge, and some of them may even break preconceived ideas that teachers established during your early schooling years.
1. Earth's "Lopsided" Core
The above left-side image showcases a common misconception of the shape of Earth's layers. The image on the left showcases a structure that's a concentric spherical shell, within a shell, within a shell. This isn't entirely accurate, as recent research indicates that there is massive protrusions from the core-mantle boundary, which is the boundary that separates the planet's silicate mantle and its liquid iron-nickel outer core. These protrusions are called the large low-shear-velocity provinces.
Additionally, Earth has a "lopsided" core, as a new study from this year suggested that Earth's core is growing faster on one side compared to the other. The core is protruding towards India and the Indian Ocean.
With these facts in mind, you can see that there is much less symmetry to Earth than previously thought.
2.The Origin of Elements
You may have heard about element production coming from the Big Bang, large stars, small stars, supernovae, or even in labs, but what about inside Earth? A recent study found that element production occurs deep within Earth more often than previously thought. The amount of elements produced are described as "fairly significant", and span the periodic table range all the way up to iron.
3. Earth's Magnetic Portals
There is a connection between Earth's magnetic field and the Sun's magnetic field, which NASA has dubbed as "magnetic portals". While this connection can't teleport humans to the Sun, it can exchange protons, electrons and ions at speeds close to the speed of light. The above image showcases the connections between the planets in black and white hashed lines.
When the Sun shoots out a blast of charged particles it usually takes around three to four days for it to reach Earth, but if the magnetic portal is charged by the blast, the particles can reach Earth just a matter of minutes. Additionally, these portals aren't a one-way street, as plasma was found going downward into the atmosphere and upward, leading researchers to believe that Earth is exchanging plasma with the Sun, but not on a one-to-one ratio.
4. Sun Cycle & Climate Change
When the topic of climate change is brought up, one factor that isn't mentioned as much as it should be is the impact the Sun has on Earth's climate. After decades of correlated evidence, researchers recently connected the Sun's super solar flare cycle to Earth's peak climate cycles. Scientists found that super flares from the Sun have previously caused massive climate shifts across Earth, and even anomalies in Earth's rotation.
5. Earth's Weakening Shield
Between 42,200 and 41,500 years ago, Earth experienced a reversal of its protective magnetic field that took around 250 years to complete lasted around 440 years years. During the transition of reversing, the magnetic field was only 5% of is current strength, and after it was fully reversed it was 25% of its current strength. This event was called the Laschamp event, and wasn't the only one of its kind as it appears it happens every 12,000 years.
Additionally, the last one that occurred called The Gothenburg Magnetic Excursion happened 12,000 years ago, which means we are due for another one "now".
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