Under the surface of the Earth found debris of the ancient planet that "gave" us the Moon
Mountains recently discovered between the Earth's core and mantle may not be at all what scientists think they are. According to a new theory, these may be the remains of an ancient planet that collided with the Earth.
About this writes the publication IFLscience. We are talking about the same collision that led the Earth to its eternal companion - the Moon.
The discovered giant blocks beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean, in the lowest part of the Earth's mantle, occupy between three and nine percent of the volume of the Earth.
Humankind is unable to see them alive because they are very deep and near the extremely hot core of our planet, but it has been possible to record them through the use of seismic tomography techniques that reverse earthquakes in the Earth's crust to the scientists' advantage.
When earthquakes occur, seismic waves from them travel in all directions, allowing scientists to catch them on the surface even from the other side of the planet and, by analyzing their movement, form an underground map of the planet. It's not that difficult, because the rocks and fluids in the Earth's interior have different densities, so the waves move through them at different speeds. This allows geologists to figure out what type of material the waves travel through.
This is what allowed them to identify two large and strange structures, which are described as large regions with low displacement rates. In these regions, waves propagate more slowly than in the lower surrounding mantle.
According to the BBC, estimates of the heights of these regions vary, but one - found under Africa and known as "Tuzo" - is up to 800 km high, the equivalent of about 90 Everest. The other is "Jason," located beneath the Pacific Ocean, and can extend up to 1,800 km, or more than 200 Everest.
Unfortunately, scientists have too little data on these regions to say exactly what they are. Given their density, which is higher than the surrounding mantle, they speculate that these regions are made of a different material, although it is impossible to tell which one - seismic imaging is incapable of telling.
The leading theory suggests that they are the bottom of an ancient ocean. But now there is a more interesting theory, which, although it has no scientific basis, has the right to exist. We are talking about the fact that these regions are the remnants of a planet that collided with a young Earth in the distant past.
We are talking about the hypothetical planet Thea, which was the size of Mars and collided with our home about 4.5 billion years ago. As a result of this collision, part of the planet was absorbed by Earth, and other debris (both Thea and Earth) was thrown into orbit, where it subsequently formed the Moon.
In 2021, a team of researchers modeled the Earth-Thea collision and learned that the latter could have left its debris in the Earth if it were only 1.5-3.5% denser than our planet.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL also told that scientists discovered that the core of the Earth has stopped and changed the direction of rotation.