Scientists recently discussed the nature of the massive blobs of magma discovered hidden beneath Earth's surface. If the magma from these blobs reaches the surface, it would cover the planet in an ocean of lava that's 100 kilometres deep.
For years, scientists have been studying and mapping Earth's inner layers using the waves generated by earthquakes. Through the map of the Earth's core, scientists discovered large unknown structures that they previously referred to as anomalies.
Investigating Earth's Underground Anomalies
At first, the anomalies were thought to be glitches caused by mapping issues. However, even with modern technology's better imaging capabilities, the anomalies still appear. Based on the map, one of these is under Africa while the other one lies beneath the Pacific.
After carefully investigating the nature of these anomalies, scientists discovered that they are actually massive blobs filled with magma. Looking like underground mega-continents, the height of the blobs are about 100 times greater than that of Mount Everest. "These are the largest things on the planet," seismologist Ed Garnero of the Arizona State University told Quanta Magazine. "Only recently have I started thinking, 'Wow, this is potentially super profound."
Earth's Underground Magma Reservoirs
The scientists theorized that these blobs of magma may have formed when Earth was still very young. They believe that when the planet was formed, its entire lower mantle was a massive magma ocean. Eventually, the rocks from certain parts of the mantle began to cool down and crystallize. The remaining magma sank lower into the mantle, forming into blobs.
By sinking to the bottom of the mantle, the magma blobs remained untouched an unaffected by even the most cataclysmic events on Earth, such as an impact from a Mars-sized object that led to the formation of the Moon.
As noted by the scientists, these magma-filled blobs are so massive that if they end up on the surface, they would bury the entire planet in a deep ocean of lava. This catastrophic event would certainly cause total extinction of all life on Earth. "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," they stated.