What Would a Journey to the Earth’s Core Be Like?


What’s the most exotic destination you’ve
been to? Hawaii? Australia, Hoboken, New Jersey? Well, today I’m setting off on a journey
that’s way more unusual than that – down to the Earth’s core. And I’m inviting you to join me – are
you ready? Ah c’mon, it’ll be fun. Let’s go! The center of the Earth lies about 4,000 miles
below its surface, so it’s gonna be a long trip. The layer I’m smashing through right now
is the crust. It’s something like the skin of an apple
(except you can’t bite off a piece) when you compare it to the other layers that make
up the Earth. Hey, look at that rabbit – these cuties
dig tunnels up to 2 feet deep, so I’m not actually surprised to meet it here. And gross, was that an earthworm? Some of the deep-burrowing types, also known
as night crawlers, get big and can live 10 feet below the surface. Moving on – did you hear that beeping sound? That must be one of those gold diggers – a
good metal detector still works at this depth. But you’re not likely to find any gold;
maybe a large piece of metal, like a car or something. And this must be the Mole Man burrow! Seriously, there was a guy in London who was
digging for 40 years under his house and stopped at 26 feet. What was he looking for? Remember how I said the crust wasn’t really
that thick? It’s roughly 21 miles thick and is made
up of basaltic rocks that are under the sea, and granitic rocks that make up the continents. So, there’s oceanic crust and continental
crust. Woah, was that a crocodile? Nile Crocodiles dig the deepest burrows among
all animals, so you can find them at 39 feet under ground. Apparently, not only crocodiles feel the desire
to hide from the rest of the world – there are whole underground cities with shelters
and catacombs in different countries. The deepest of them lies at 278 feet under
Cappadocia in Turkey. Its 18 levels could house 20,000 people! How would they all get there? Today, they could just catch a train at the
world’s deepest metro station in Kiev, Ukraine, lying at 348 feet. While people have advanced technologies these
days to dig this deep, trees just naturally grow this way; in South Africa, there are
species whose roots reach up to 400 feet below the surface! I’m currently moving through continental
crust, as you see, and two important things you should know about it are that it’s about
2 billion years old (even though the oldest rock is 4 billion, and it was found on the
shore of Hudson Bay, Canada) and it covers about 40 percent of the Earth (yeah, the rest
is oceanic crust). The Granitic rocks that it’s made of have
more silicon, aluminum and even more oxygen in them than basaltic rocks, because they
have access to open air on the surface. The crust is the source of all the metals
and minerals humans have ever used, except for diamonds, which are much deeper. I think we’ll spot them later…do you have
pockets? Heh heh What was that? People in their running gear? As crazy as it sounds, in 2004, a half-marathon
was organized in the Bochnia Salt Mine in Poland. It was the deepest half-marathon ever – you
don’t often see people running at a depth of 695 feet after all. Nothing can surprise me now that I’ve seen
this, except for maybe … bats! What are you guys doing here? 1000 brown bats spend every winter in a New
York zinc mine – how cozy! Brrrr it’s getting cold – this is the
deepest point you can find permafrost – or permanently frozen soil layers, at. Speaking of frost – the Earth’s crust
serves as an electric blanket that covers the mantle. It’s rich in the radioactive elements uranium,
thorium, and potassium, which produce heat! Moving on – this here looks like a good
hiding spot – the deepest cave in the world is Veryovkina Cave, in Georgia (the country,
not the state) at about 1.4 miles below the ground. And that was a train I heard – wait, how
could a train possibly run this deep? It couldn’t until 2016, when the deepest
and longest underground railway, Gotthard Base tunnel, was opened in Switzerland! Just when you think you couldn’t possibly
meet any other living beings down here – here comes the worm from the TauTona mine in South
Africa, the deepest multicellular organism. Speaking of mines, the deepest among them
is the Mponeng Gold mine, at 2.5 miles, also in South Africa. While I’m moving through continental crust,
the oceanic crust is never too far, and its average depth is 4.3 miles. It covers around 60 percent of the surface
of our planet, and is thinner (around 12 miles), denser and younger (it’s no older than 180
million years) than the continental crust. It’s constantly being born at mid-ocean
ridges, and that’s what makes the continents move. At 7 miles deep, you have your final chance
to see the ocean on this trip – we’ve just reached Mariana Trench, the deepest point
of the Pacific Ocean. To give you an idea of how unique and special
this moment is: less people have been here than to the Moon. Traveling through the crust was fun, but it
had to end at some point, and here comes the border where they don’t stamp your passport
– the boundary between the crust and the mantle. It’s the largest section of the Earth, at
1,801 miles wide. It’s made of magma rock and is heavy, making
up 65 per cent of the Earth’s mass. It stores many archeological secrets, and
is made up of four elements: oxygen, silicon, magnesium and iron. Even though it’s basically a solid rock,
the mantle is slowly and constantly moving. What was that bling? It must be the remnants of diamonds that were
formed here, at 93 miles deep, a billion years ago. Then, as molten rock, they moved up to the
surface. The pressure is getting more and more extreme,
and it’s getting colder and colder down here. This is the deepest point where earthquakes
are born – the ones that come from here are rare, and get pretty weak by the time
they’ve traveled 435 miles up to the surface. Another 30 miles down on this journey, and
here comes the lower mantle. You can thank it for any tectonic plate movements. Why is getting so hot? Wow, that was some serious change of landscape! At 1,814 miles deep, the mantle ends and the
outer core begins. It’s a sunless sea of super hot liquid metal
that’s about the size of Mars. This sea has slow moving currents, and magnetic
and electrical fields that produce storms and cyclones. By the way, the Earth owes its magnetic field
to the outer core. Without it, life on our planet would simply
be impossible! Once every several thousand years, something
happens in this layer: the magnetic poles reverse, and north and south change places. It’s not likely to happen again soon though. At 2,750 miles, the inner core welcomes you! It’s the hottest, innermost part of the
planet. It’s a super dense solid ball made of 80
% iron and 20 % nickel that heats up to 10,800°F! That’s pretty much the same as the surface
of the Sun. The inner core is nearly the size of the Moon,
and makes up 2 per cent of the Earth’s mass. If you took all the water in all the oceans
and multiplied it by five, this would be roughly the same as the volume of the inner core. It remains solid thanks to super high pressure,
which is a million times greater than the pressure on the surface of the planet. Because no one has been this deep (except
for me right now – duh!), scientists still have a lot of research to do in this area. Some of them believe small crystals of iron
are born in the outer parts of the core that merge into giant crystals the size of a city
closer to the center. That’s why the inner core is also called
the crystal core. Not so long ago, British scientists found
out that the inner core is relatively young – probably somewhere between 500 and 1,000
million years old, and that’s nothing in terms of Earth science. It must’ve grown out of an iron crystal
and keeps growing slowly every year. So, in a billion years, it could mess up the
magnetic field of the planet, who knows? It’s hard to tell exactly where the center
of the Earth is, but it looks like I can put my flag down here at 3,958 miles. Now that was quite a journey! Now, for those of you who are thinking of
packing your bags to go see the Earth’s core, I have some not-so-good news: it’s
technically not possible yet, because there’s no way to survive the pressure and extreme
heat that are waiting down there. However, if someone built a tunnel that would
provide all the necessary protection, it would only take 18 minutes of free falling to get
there. Sign me up! Would you want to travel to the Earth’s
Core if it becomes possible in the near future? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go filling your pockets
with diamonds just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right
video, click on it, and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

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