The existence of a new layer of the Earth has been found by scientists. There were formerly only four layers: the crust, mantle, liquid, and solid inner core. Yet two seismologists at the Australian National University have discovered that the Earth’s inner core contains a unique layer. And it’s a solid, metallic ball that is 400 miles thick. According to the study, the ball has a unique crystal structure that causes earthquake shock waves to propagate through the layer more quickly than through the surrounding core.
By examining individual earthquakes and keeping an eye on “seismic waves reverberating over the entire planet,” Thanh-Son Phm and Hrvoje Tkali discovered the solid metal core. Over 200 earthquakes with a magnitude of 6 or higher that occurred in the past ten years were studied by the researchers. They were able to notice details that they had previously missed. They made another discovery in addition to confirming the existence of the solid metal core, also known as the “innermost inner core” or IMIC. It had a diameter of 400 kilometers.
The experts think that the metal core may hold the key to understanding how life developed on Earth. The metal inner core may be a “fossilized record” of a large tectonic event, with the core solidifying soon after, they suggested. “Studying Earth’s center is not just a topic of academic curiosity, but something that sheds light on the very evolution of life on our planet’s surface” the researchers said in The Conversation.
Seismic waves from the Earth have already been seen to move most quickly in a spin-parallel direction. The researchers determined that this is puzzlingly not the case for this recently discovered innermost inner core, indicating that these waves travel quicker at a different angle. The scientists hypothesize that this metallic ball may have been created by a “major global event,” such as a significant tectonic shift that occurred hundreds of millions of years ago. It’s an important piece of the puzzle and a fascinating window into the early history of our planet, especially in light of the possibility that it was what made life on Earth possible.