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Earth has a pulse and 3 other incredible new facts about our planet

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You’d think that humans would have a pretty good understanding of our planet after 300,000 years. But as it turns out, scientists are constantly learning new things about Earth.

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Here are 4 incredible Earth discoveries made over the past 10 years.

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4. Earth has a pulse

This year, scientists discovered Earth has a “pulse” that occurs roughly every 27.5 million years, which coincides with clusters of geographic events like marine extinctions and sea-level fluctuations.

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“Our results suggest that global geologic events are generally correlated, and seem to come in pulses with an underlying 27.5-Myr cycle,” the study team writes.

3. New oceans are being discovered

Earlier this year, Internet denizens freaked out when National Geographic officially added the Southern Ocean — which surrounds Antarctica — to its map, even though scientists had already recognized it as the world’s fifth ocean for years.

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But in fact, scientists discovered a real new “ocean” near the Earth’s core back in 2014 — a reservoir of water three times the size of the world’s oceans combined.

In the future, this discovery could help confirm scientific theories that Earth’s water originated on our planet and not from comets or asteroids.

Speaking of the Earth’s core...

2. Earth’s core may explain the origins of life on our planet

In a 2021 study, researchers learned there may be up to 70 times more hydrogen — an essential ingredient in water — in the Earth’s core than in our actual oceans.

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Scientists discovered hydrogen can bond well with iron in extreme conditions like the Earth’s core, which can reach scorching temperatures of 9,392° Fahrenheit.

This finding may help explain how life on Earth evolved.

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“Had this remained on the surface as water, the Earth may never have known land, and life as we know it would never have evolved,” lead author Kei Hirose, a University of Tokyo professor, said at the time of discovery.

Last, but certainly not least...

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1. Earth has a secret eighth continent

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This huge, 2 million-square-mile continent remains mostly submerged beneath New Zealand. Geologists dubbed the continent “Zealandia” in the 1990s, though they updated the name in 2019 to reflect how the nation’s indigenous people, Māori, refer to it: “Te Riu-a-Māui/Zealandia.”

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In 2020, GNS Science (a geo-consulting organization) released the most accurate maps of Zealandia to date, helping us understand how tectonic plates and volcanoes shaped New Zealand’s geography.

Check it out for yourself and learn more about this lost continent here.

Read more nature stories here.

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