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Mountain peaks three to four times higher than Mt. Everest found under ocean

Mountains with peaks three to four times higher than Mount Everest have been discovered deep inside the Earth in Antarctica, said scientists.

A boat navigates at night next to large icebergs near the town of Kulusuk, in eastern Greenland on Aug. 15, 2019.(AP)

During the study, when researchers looked at seismic waves generated by 25 earthquakes, they found these waves inexplicably slowed down when they reached a jagged patch on the core-mantle boundary. “This vast, otherworldly mountain range was highly variable – some peaks stretched 40km (24.8 miles) up into the mantle, equivalent to 4.5 times the height of Everest. Meanwhile, others were just 3km (1.7 miles) high,” reported BBC.

According to the researchers, the mountains are parts of the lower mantle that have been superheated due to their proximity with Earth’s incandescent core. While the mantle can reach 3,700C (6,692F), this is relatively mild – the core can achieve atom-bending highs of 5,500C (9,932F) – not far off the temperature at the surface of the Sun.

What are these mountains made up of?

The deep-Earth mountains could be made from a subtly different material to the surrounding mantle, suggested the report. “Incredibly, it’s thought that they could be the remains of ancient oceanic crust which disappeared into its depths, eventually sinking down over hundreds of millions of years to settle just above the core,” it added.

Other mystery structures

The deep-Earth mountains tend to be found near other mystery structures: enormous blobs, or large low-shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs). At present, there are two such known structures: an amorphous lump called “Tuzo” beneath Africa, and another known as “Jason” beneath the Pacific. “They are thought to be truly primeval, possibly billions of years old. Again, no one knows what they are, or how they got there. But their close proximity to the mountains has led to the belief that they’re somehow linked,” the researchers said.

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