July 4, 2024 at 12:37 pm

Remains Of Ancient Planet May Have Been Found Deep In The Earth’s Mantle

by Michael Levanduski

Source: YouTube/Caltec

Earth’s long history is something that has been fascinating scientists for generations. The more we can learn about how our planet formed, the more we will discover about not only the way it is today, but potentially about other planets in the universe as well.

There is a popular theory that billions of years ago, a planet about the size of Mars crashed into Earth. This planet has been named Theia. Much of the remains of this massive event are what formed into the moon.

One issue with this theory has always been that scientists do not have a good explanation for what happened to the remaining material from the collision.

In recent years, however, the idea that this material was absorbed into the center of the Earth is gaining a lot of traction. The idea comes from the fact that we know that the moon is made of a lot of heavy elements, especially iron.

In addition, more recent studies of the center of the Earth have revealed that there are at least two large anomalies within the Earth that are made of similar materials.

These anomalies are called Large Low-Velocity Provinces (LLVPs) and are found under the tectonic plates in Africa and the Pacific Ocean.

Source: YouTube/Caltec

Dr. Yuan is one of the first to publish about this theory, explaining that the idea came to him while listening to a seminar in 2019 given by Professor Mikhail Zolotov.

“Right after Mikhail had said that no one knows where the impactor is now, I had a ‘eureka moment’ and realized that the iron-rich impactor could have transformed into mantle blobs.”

Since then, there have been multiple simulations done that look at whether this would be possible.

These simulations have lent support to the idea that Theia’s impact on Earth would not have destroyed the planet completely.

In addition, it showed that a lot of the energy as well as the materials from Theia would have remained in the upper mantle, eventually sinking down to the lower part of the mantle due to its weight and density.

Dr. Paul Asimow talks about this theory, explaining that it will have a significant impact on our understanding of Earth’s history:

“A logical consequence of the idea that the LLVPs are remnants of Theia is that they are very ancient. It makes sense, therefore, to investigate next what consequences they had for Earth’s earliest evolution, such as the onset of subduction before conditions were suitable for modern-style plate tectonics, the formation of the first continents, and the origin of the very oldest surviving terrestrial minerals.”

You can learn more about this interesting theory in this video explanation.

The long and hostile history of our planet has a lot to teach us about the universe.

And probably, the future.

If you found that story interesting, learn more about why people often wake up around 3 AM and keep doing it for life.