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Massive ‘ocean’ discovered towards Earth’s core (2014) (newscientist.com)
90 points by RazzleBerryPop 72 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 39 comments

I know it was mostly nonsense, but Jules Vernes’ Journey to the Center of the Earth enchanted me to no end and sent my mind imagining such undiscovered wonders, including, yes, oceans within massive caverns miles below the crust. That man was such an incredible, creative storyteller.

Absolutely, one of my all time favourites. It was so delightfully imaginative and yet knowing it was tied to the science of the era made for a completely new world view while reading it.

It's sad to see so much hate in the comments. It would be amazing if there were more discussions with genuine curiosity rather than a dismissive attitude of intellectual superiority. Unfortunately words can only express so much.

Fascinating discovery by the way. Makes me realize how much there always is to learn and discover despite how much we already know.

Can we please stop calling humid rocks "ocean"?

There is a word for that: aquifer.

The real thing is even more different than an ocean.

In an aquifer you have something like wet sand or wet rocks, i.e. there is sand/rocks and the water is in the space between them.

In this case, the molecules of water are inside the crystal structure. It's almost like a chemical reaction instead of only some inert object getting wet.

An usual similar compound is Cooper Sulfate that is nice because it changes color. The anhydrous version is white and you can get it heating the normal version. The normal version is blue and it has 5 water molecules per each CuSO4. But it is not wet like wet sand/rocks, the water is trapped inside he crystals. I can't find a good link but there is more info in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper(II)_sulfate#Other_form_... there are some nice photos in https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=copper+sulfate+colo...

Aquifer doesn't convey any sense of scale, and that's the important part in the article. "Scientists discover aquifer" wouldn't be interesting.

"Scientists discover aquifer the size of the Pacific ocean"

And I would like to say that "interesting" should be lower on the list of priority than "accurate" when it comes to headlines.

Headlines are marketing. They get people to buy the magazine or view the online adverts.

If you want strict accuracy without the sales element you need to go to a journal.

Discussed (not particularly well) at the time: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7885641

One interesting comment in that thread by 31reasons:

> This image will give you more idea of how much water there is on the surface in terms of spherical volume. https://water.usgs.gov/edu/pictures/full-size/global-water-v... .

I wonder if this adds to the understanding of plate tectonics. Adds another dimension or is so far removed from the crust it has little bearing on them.

Is it possible that similar deposits of this rock ringwoodite are present in under the surface or in cores of other planets?

IANAG. Probably yes because the elements in these rocks are quite common, but I guess the difficult part is guessing how much water these rocks are trapping in each planet.

But I found in Google one interesting link: "Mars' Ocean May Have Descended Into the Mantle of the Planet" https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a14470646/m...

Additional read from ScientificAmerican (2014): https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rare-diamond-conf...

It's quite logical, if there were small rocks with water hitting later Earth then those small rocks with water must have hit early Earth as well; thus water was part of Earth from the beginning and it simply got entrapped when Earth grew.

I wonder if this be related to the biblical flood story:

<quote> on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. </quote> Genesis 7:11

Many translations do not talk about "windows" but about "floodgates". The authors of the bible were from a culture whose cosmology interpreted the blue sky as an ocean and believed it could be poured on the earth.


(Apparently we are of a culture that believes water molecules trapped in certain minerals constitutes an ‘ocean.’)

The "ocean" is in fact solid rock permeated with water. Even under immense pressure, the water only trickles out of this rock.

Genesis is a collection of myths.

Indeed, but there have been many floods in the area. I think a lot of what is saved in writing and stories has some basis in fact. Sometimes I even wonder if tales of trolls (and similar creatures in various cultures) can be Neanderthals etc.

In case you haven't read it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_myth

Thank you for that. The bit about the flooding of the Persian Gulf is fascinating.

> Genesis is a collection of myths.

Which one is the myth-iest in your opinion?

What ocean are you referring to?

The one in OP's title "Massive ‘ocean’ discovered"

The most interesting theory I read recently is that biblical flood referes to an event that happened 5600 BC, when melting ice from the last little ice age caused water from Medditerrain Sea to flood through Bosfor, significantly increasing the size of Black Sea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_hypothesis

There is however a lot of controversy around this theory.

Another instance of the scientific community converging to a consensus congruent with the Genesis account of creation. Genesis 2:5-6 "the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth ... but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground."

Two other notable instances: the universe had a beginning (a Big Bang) and evolution occurred generally in the order described in Genesis 1 (nothing, plants, water creatures, avians, land animals, humans).

An old story not transgressing truth (truths that are being progressively discovered in more detail) should not be easily ignored. Though it is indeed a story for a spiritual purpose, not one meant to match the contemporaneous description of observations. If it were, it would be outdated (or too ahead of the times to be understandable or acceptable at all).

The vagueness of the text and selection bias seem like more reasonable explanations of your observations, independently of the spiritual or ethical value of that particular work.

Why does the book get all the points for the things it gets right without getting points detracted for what it gets wrong?

Twice a day my clock is not only right, it is, in fact, the most accurate clock ever created.

We need to understand. We search for patterns.

Not knowing is an ache that forces some to look and convinces others to stop looking.

Certainly, the search for meaning is the most fundamental human attribute after survival.

However, we tend to be fine for the search for bullshit.

What do you think it gets wrong?

Scientists used to assume the bible was a historical document that told the truth. They (generally) stopped believing because a close examination of reality kept contradicting it.

What specifically can be observed that contradicts the Bible?

Of the top of my head:

Global flood covering all the land (no evidence, but it would leave evidence if it happened); the number of species that actually exist versus the described size of Noah’s Ark (ever been to a zoo? The bible describes the Ark as about the size of Berlin Zoo’s bird house); Luke chapter 2 says the census that makes Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem was when Quirinus was governor of Syria and Herod was king of Judea, but Herod died 9 years before Quirinus took the job (also the Romans didn’t require people to return to the place of their birth for a census, because that’s a really dumb thing to do); and the total lack of evidence for the events in Exodus, when they should’ve been really obvious in the records and graveyards.

There are others, but I’m not a biblical scholar and don’t care enough to look closer.

The Big Bang is not the beginning of the universe.

What's so wrong about using the word 'universe' in that way?

Here's the first example I found from a quick Google search:

> The Big Bang Theory is the leading explanation about how the universe began.



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