back to article Boffins boggle, baffled by blobs deep inside the Earth

Scientists have revealed new data about two giant blobs at the edge of the Earth's core, larger than continents and possibly older than any rock on the planet. Unlocking the mystery of the blobs, known as thermochemical piles, could help reveal clue about the Earth's formation, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. A team of …

  1. Geoff May

    "thermochemical piles come into sharper focus"


    1. Mark 85

      Re: "thermochemical piles come into sharper focus"

      We'll need a bigger barrel of Preparation H....

      1. cortland

        Re: "thermochemical piles come into sharper focus"

        A winner!

  2. Stratman

    Are they pyramid shaped?

  3. Captain DaFt

    Oh dear

    Doctor Who had it wrong.

    It's not the moon in danger of hatching, it's the Earth, and it's going to be twins!

    1. cortland

      Re: Oh dear

      Male and Female created It Them.

    2. Francis Boyle


      There was never any Doctor Who episode like that!

      Now Silurian cities, that's not silly at all!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something doesn't add up here

    The report says the blobs are denser than the surrounding Mantle, but also they transmit seismic waves slowly. But seismic waves travel *faster* in denser materials - that's how geophysicists calculate their density.

    I suspect something has gone missing between the research and the press release.

    1. John 98

      Re: Something doesn't add up here

      No it proves they are alien bases built by creatures from another universe.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Something doesn't add up here

      The formula for the velocity of pressure waves is here. Increasing density reduces the velocity. The bulk and shear moduli also contribute.

  5. JustWondering

    "Thermochemical piles"?

    What does Taco Bell have to do with this?

  6. Thaumaturge

    Recalling Firesign Theatre

    What immediately came to mind was:

    "We know for certain, for instance, that somewhere, sometime in the beginning there were hot lumps..." from Firesign Theatre "I think we're all Bozos on this bus"

    Or could it be a secret lizard people atomic pile? Inquiring minds want to know!

  7. aks

    Indigestible protoplanets?

    I wonder if these objects are the cores of old protoplanets that accumulated in the earliest days and what we're seeing is the undigested parts of those protoplanets.

    1. JCitizen

      Re: Indigestible protoplanets?

      Remnants of Theia? That is what popped into my head!

  8. Alistair


    We did have one heck of a smack from something at one time (axial tilt + moon) -- perhaps our interloper left bits behind and we're still in the digestion process?

    Could be ugly if it results in either a case of diarrhoea or even projectile vomiting.

  9. Faux Science Slayer

    "Earth's Missing Geothermal Flux"

    Visit the Geo-nuclear tab at FauxScienceSlayer....there is a 900 mile cubic crystal core in the

    center of Earth that rotates faster than the surface....Electric Universe motor/generator ?

  10. astrodog

    Speed of sound in various materials

    Within largely homogeneous materials... the denser the material is, the faster sound will travel through it, but this only applies to specific types of material. The other big factor is the hardness of the material.

    For instance, sound travels *much* faster through diamonds (~12000 m/s) or glass (~4500 m/s), than it does through lead (~2000 m/s).

    This is why it's very difficult to image some types of material with seismic or ultrasonic waves, and where some of the difficulty in determining what the composition in the mantle might be. As far as velocity is concerned... warm iron and cool lead may look very similar.

  11. You aint sin me, roit

    "stuff possibly 4.5 billion years old" ?

    I'm made of stuff at least 4.5 billion years old!

  12. Gobhicks

    The Lobes of Cthulhu


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