Hidden Ocean Beneath Earth’s Crust Surpasses Surface Water

hidden ocean beneath earth s crust surpasses surface water.jpg Science

In a world where scientific discoveries seem to be making headlines every other day, one revelation stands out for its sheer mind-boggling implications. The Earth, it seems, holds a secret ocean beneath its crust, a vast reservoir of water stored in a rock known as ‘ringwoodite’, buried deep within its mantle. This subterranean ocean, located about 400 miles underground, is not composed of water in any form we commonly understand – not a liquid, solid, or gas, but a fourth state, held within the rock in a sponge-like manner.

The groundbreaking study that brought this to light, ‘Dehydration melting at the top of the lower mantle’, was published back in 2014, but its implications are only now beginning to sink in. "The ringwoodite is like a sponge, soaking up water, there is something very special about the crystal structure of ringwoodite that allows it to attract hydrogen and trap water," explained geophysicist Steve Jacobsen, who was part of the discovery team. The findings suggest an astonishing possibility: if the ringwoodite contains just 1% water, it would mean that the Earth’s mantle holds three times more water than all the planet’s surface oceans combined. This discovery could revolutionize our understanding of the Earth’s water cycle and the origins of our planet’s abundant surface water.

Hidden Aquatic Treasure: A Massive Ocean Underneath Earth’s Crust

Discovery of the Enormous Underground Ocean

Recent years have been marked by stunning scientific discoveries, from the detection of a disconcerting black hole aimed directly at us, to the identification of a vast hole in the sun, and the recovery of a lost continent after 375 years. The latest revelation to leave us flabbergasted is the realization of a mammoth ocean concealed beneath Earth’s crust.

This enormous water reserve, located about 400 miles underground, is stored within a type of rock known as ‘ringwoodite’. Scientists, in a breakthrough discovery, found that water is held inside mantle rock in a distinctive, sponge-like state, which is neither liquid, solid, nor gas, but a fourth state.

The Role of Ringwoodite in Trapping Water

The scientific report titled ‘Dehydration melting at the top of the lower mantle’, published in 2014, unveiled these findings. According to geophysicist Steve Jacobsen, a member of the research team, the ringwoodite, akin to a sponge, absorbs water. Its unique crystal structure permits it to attract hydrogen and capture water.

Jacobsen further stated, "This mineral can hold a significant amount of water under the conditions of the deep mantle." He added, "I believe we are finally witnessing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which could help explain the immense quantity of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been searching for this ‘missing’ deep water for decades."

Detection Method and Implication of Underground Ocean

The discovery was made while studying earthquakes. Scientists found that seismometers were registering shockwaves beneath the Earth’s surface. This investigation led to the conclusion that the water was stored in the ringwoodite rock.

The implications of this discovery are immense. Even if the rock contained just 1% water, it would indicate that there is thrice as much water beneath Earth’s surface than in the surface oceans.


This remarkable discovery not only underscores the intricate and unending wonders of our planet but also contributes significantly to our understanding of Earth’s water cycle. It prompts us to consider the vast potential of the world beneath our feet, and its effects on the life and environment on the surface. As we continue to uncover the secrets of our planet, we can only anticipate more such mind-boggling revelations in the future.

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