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.
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.
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 Earthevolved.
“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.
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.”