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Imagine That! -- "Earth Core Rocks"

Imagine That!
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Imagine That! -- "Earth Core Rocks"

Credit: NSF/Finger Lakes Productions International

Audio Transcript:

Thousands of miles below our footsteps is the earth's warm inner core. What mysteries does it hold? Scientists are working to find out.

Imagine That!

Somewhere in Atlantis Massif, an underwater mountain range in the Atlantic, is a hole tiny in diameter, but enormous in depth...and potential. International scientists of mystery, a.k.a. researchers, working with the integrated ocean drilling program, recently spent a lot of effort drilling this tiny hole. Why? Well, they were, in a sense, digging for buried treasure. In this case, rocks from the earth's mantle. But they didn't quite get there.

The elusive treasure is buried beneath "Moho." That's Moho, not Mojo, baby. It's short for Mohorovicic discontinuity--the layer that separates Earth's crust from its mantle. The project's co-chief scientist Barbara John, of the University of Wyoming, explains:

John: "We were trying to drill the crust, and hopefully the mantle which is under the crust, in order to understand how the plates that are formed at the mid ocean ridges actually spread."

Though they didn't reach the mantle, John says they did recover a section of the lower oceanic crust, never before examined. The rocks will help deepen their understanding about how the earth's crust is formed, and how earth evolved. Groovy research, baby, yeah! I'm Eric Phillips.

"Imagine That!" covers projects funded by the U.S. government's National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research -- brought to you, by you! Learn more at

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