'Waterworld' was a documentary? Geologists think Earth could have once been 100% ocean

The Hollywood blockbuster may have been right, if only 3.2 billion years off the mark.

(Photo: Universal Pictures)
  • Researchers find evidence that Earth may have been submerged in a global ocean during the Archaean eon.
  • The research could change our understanding of how life emerged.
  • It's one of many recent studies changing how we view our planet's infancy.
Keep reading Show less

NASA provides first evidence of “marsquakes”

A new batch of papers reveals some of Mars' subterranean secrets.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • The spacecraft InSight detected tremors from deep underneath the rust-colored surface of Mars indicating, for the first time ever, that the planet is geologically active.
  • The quakes could potentially give seismologists insights into the interior composition of the planet.
  • The Insight lander also uncovered magnetized rocks "consistent with a past dynamo with Earth-like strength" under the surface of the landing sight.
Keep reading Show less

Why not even Minnesota is safe from quakes

Minnesota earned its 'blue mark' in the 1975 Morris earthquake, which had its epicenter in the western part of the state.

Image: USGS, public domain
  • Californians, want to run away from the Big One? Head for Minnesota.
  • As this map shows, the Gopher State is the least likely to be hit by earthquakes.
  • Choose your new home wisely, though: even Minnesota has one earthquake-sensitive spot.
Keep reading Show less

How long will a volcanic island live?

Plate tectonics and mantle plumes set the lifespan of volcanic islands like Hawaii and the Galapagos.

Phil Yeo/Getty Images

When a hot plume of rock rises through the Earth's mantle to puncture the overlying crust, it can create not only a volcanic ocean island, but also a swell in the ocean floor hundreds to thousands of kilometers long.

Keep reading Show less

The TESS satellite caught a comet ‘burp'

What happens after a heavy comet meal?

Image source: Farnham et al./NASA
  • A comet produces and unexpected explosive ejection of ice, dust, and gas.
  • NASA's TESS satellites captures the whole thing by accident.
  • The "burp" may have left a crater 65 feet across. That's quite a burp.
Keep reading Show less