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Scientists discover massive source of water supply 400 miles underground after searching for decades

This source can provide an alternative to the water available on the ground and also completes the water cycle of the earth.

Scientists discover massive source of water supply 400 miles underground after searching for decades
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov

Science and its many mysteries continue to uncover themselves one surprise at a time. With climate change drastically affecting the planet and researchers trying to find alternatives to essentials like water, a recent discovery may help speed up matters. A 2014 research paper titled “Dehydration Melting at the Top of the Lower Mantle” has found evidence of a massive water supply some 400 miles underground. This evidence has been found in a rock called "ringwoodite."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Edward Jenner
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Edward Jenner

According to the findings, the water inside ringwoodite is neither in a liquid, solid or gas state, but rather a fourth state that can be described as "sponge-like." Geophysicist Steve Jacobsen was part of the team that made the discovery. He spoke about the miraculous finding and said, “The ringwoodite is like a sponge, soaking up water, there is something very special about the crystal structure of ringwoodite that allows it to attract hydrogen and trap water.” He further added, “This mineral can contain a lot of water under conditions of the deep mantle.”

This game-changing discovery was a result of scientists studying earthquakes finding that the seismometers were detecting shockwaves under the Earth’s surface. They then hypothesized that there was the presence of water in a rock called ringwoodite. Upon further calculations, they concluded that if the rock contained even 1% of water, it meant that there must be three folds the amount of water under the Earth’s surface than in the oceans found on the surface.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Antony Trivet
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Antony Trivet

According to the research paper, the water cycle is not limited to “the water that circulates between the atmosphere, oceans and surface waters.” It goes beyond that and “deep into Earth's interior.” Jacobsen further explained, "I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades."

This discovery is not exclusive to recent times when a lot of surprising mysteries are unraveling themselves as a part of the planet’s studies. In a recent deep sea exploration conducted by Schmidt Ocean Institute, they found evidence of a whole new ecosystem under the sea floor occupied by worms, snails and bacteria on the East Pacific Rise off Central America.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Porapak Apichodilok
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Porapak Apichodilok

According to Good News Network, they have found that sea species are making use of this ecosystem in addition to their regular habitat. This goosebumps-giving discovery has led to further questions and wonderment about similar ecosystems in existence, deep under the channels of the sea with several undiscovered species. It’s easy to assume that we know our planet. However, when discoveries of new ecosystems and possible water sources under the Earth’s surface come to light, it puts things in perspective that little is known and a lot more is yet to unwrap itself. In times of climate crisis and Earth’s atmospherical deterioration, new discoveries give hope for alternate ways of reviving the environment. What remains to be seen is whether we can make use of the new discoveries to better our home planet.

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