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Planet Earth: A blazing hot dumpling core with an egg shell

The devastating seaquake in the Indian Ocean showed how unstable the Earth really is: beneath the thin "egg shell" upon which we live rages a blazing molten inferno and the continents float on the top like stone rafts.

The earth, the beautiful blue planet on which we live
Picture by Nasa

The Alps will tower above the Himalaya Mountains, so that the Großglockner reaches higher than Mount Everest, and the Mediterranean will be "crushed" between Africa and Europe. – This is no far-fetched science fiction scenario, just simply a question of time, as the Viennese geophysicist Dr. Wolfgang Lenhardt explains: "Admittedly not for a few million years."

The Earth is not a stable sphere of rock, as we automatically imagine, but an unsteady, oscillating, steaming, blazing liquid mass, that is held together by its own gravitational force and upon which we lead a by all means risky life, as if we were treading on a thin egg shell.

Like stone rafts, the wafer-thin (in comparison to the rest of the Earth) continental plates, on which we build our houses and streets, swim on the liquid nappe of the Earth’s crust (see image to the left). Where they rub against one another earthquakes occur. Where they pull apart, hot, volcanic material surges up from underneath. And where the pressure becomes too much, mountain pile up. Or the plates slide over one another so that the plate underneath is gradually subducted into the furnace of the Earth's crust.

All of this happens in "geological time frames" – in millions of years. If we considered in extreme fast-motion the vibrating, bulging plates that rove about and crash against one another, we would probably decide against the idea of living on such a planet. However, even not in fast-motion, it is enough just to consider that roughly 3000 times per day the Earth trembles somewhere. And, as Dr. Lenhardt dryly observes: "It is absolutely possible, that in the near future a quake somewhere could reach scale 8. We just don't know."

Not knowing something, particularly when is a question of life and death und when it furthermore occurs right under the chair upon which we are sitting, seems inconceivable in this age of information: we have conquered the moon and Mars and listened with Grazer Microphone Technology to noises on Titan, Neptune’s moon, yet we have at best a plausible inkling of what happens beneath the Earth’s crust and what it is actually composed of.

The structure of the earth, according to geophysicist Dr. Marvin Herndon
Picture by Marvin Herndon

"Principally out of iron, a solid centre and liquid outer layer" geologists reply to the question posed as to what the innermost part of the Earth is made up of. Mathematicians have calculated this, and is derived from seismic vibrations: but the experts do not actually "know", because man has yet to succeed in drilling the Earth’s crust for tests: if we were to shrink the Earth to an apple and re-enact with a fruit knife the deepest drilling of the Earth that has yet to be managed, then we would not even scratch through the peel. Everything beyond this little hole, that in reality is but 12 kilometres deep, is deduced from indirect measurements and from that which is unearthed by volcanoes.

The US Geophysicist Dr. Marvin Herndon
Picture by Marvin Herndon

However little we know about the Earth, it is demonstrated by the theory of US geophysicist Martin Herndor, who affirms with surprisingly plausible arguments, that in the innermost centre of the Earth a nuclear reactor is alight with natural uranium from the planet. Dr. Herndon in an interview: "In the 70s, deep in a mine in Africa, French researchers discovered such a natural nuclear power plant that had been active hundreds of millions of years ago. Something similar is conceivable in the centre of the Earth and would explain the extreme high temperatures there. Even our magnetic field and its occasional pole reversal in the course of the Earth's history does not have to originate from a rotating iron core, but is also possible through strong ionic radiation from an atomic energy source."

So are we preaching "Nuclear power, no thank you!" and yet if anything are sitting on a gigantic atomic reactor? Or is it just a large electric motor that creates our magnetic field? Jules Verne's fantastic "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" could hardly be more exciting than the question of what it really looks like down there.

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© A report by Tobias Micke (23-01-05) – Contact