• Question: What's under the ground we stand on

    Asked by bronaghd to Karen, Shane on 22 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Shane Mc Guinness

      Shane Mc Guinness answered on 22 Nov 2013:

      Great question again Bronagh,
      well, first of all we’re all literally only standing on the skin of an orange! On top of this skin is all the land, sea and ice that we can see. This “crust” we’re standing on is about 32km straight down on land (though only about 8km down at the bottom of the ocean). Underneath this, things get a lot more interesting, and a LOT hotter!
      First of all, there’s a gloopy layer of semi-melted rock called the Asthenopshere, which our crust sits on top of.
      But below this is where it gets BIG! The next layer is made up of almost 2,900km of melted liquid rock at temperatures of up to 2000 degrees celcius!
      Below this, towards the centre of the earth is the outer core of the earth, made up of the melted metals iron and nickle and is another 2,300 km thick!
      Then, at the very centre of our earth is the solid iron core of our planet which is almost 1300 km thick!
      All this means that, beneath your feet right now is a massive rock, a huge lake of melted rock and massive iron marble! Apart from all the water pipes and sewers that is…..

    • Photo: Karen McCarthy

      Karen McCarthy answered on 22 Nov 2013:

      Great answer Shane!

      But even the ground we stand on is amazing, although often we totally overlook it! The soil is one the biggest areas of biodiversity on the planet, and contains more than a third of all the world’s microorganisms! Without a good balanced soil system, life on Earth would probably have evolved completely differently – if we didnt have plants growing in the soil, where would we get our oxygen sources from? How would we grow food? Soil is actually amazing, if you think beyond the dirt!