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Searching for life forms in the Earth mantle

There are many things about Earth waiting to be discovered – from the depth of the oceans, to the layers of rocks.

Team of scientists from the Japanese agency of science and technology of oceans and Earth (JAMSTEC ) want to explore the Earth crust, for the first time drilling in it with the largest ship made just for that purpose, called ‘Chikyu’.

The team from JAMSTEC wants to start drilling in 2020, and to make that possible, first they will have to explore the potential underwater locations for it. This September there will be a preliminary study that will last about 2 weeks with the ship ‘Kairei’ in the waters northeast from Hawaii, and other potential locations are identified in Mexico and Costa Rica, in case that Hawaii location won’t meet the requirements.

The research team thinks that the project will cost about 542 million dollars, and the decision to drill through the ocean crust is more practical than the same project to be performed on land – it is thiner (around 4 miles) then continental one, and to get to that layer, ‘Chikyu’ drill has to pass through 2.5 miles of water and 4 miles of crust.

Earth mantle is located under the crust and it’s around 80% of the volume of the planet and represents liquid silica rocky shell that effects the volcanic activities. Because of that, the practical consequences from this research will be better understanding of the phenomena that happen on the Earth surface. The scientists also want to understand how the mantle formed by researching the border between the ocean crust and the mantle.

Despite all of this, the scientists will explore if the microbiological life could survive deep inside our planet – discovery like that would bring forward informations that could be used in the quest for extraterrestrial life form, because the conditions in the Earth mantle could simulate the one from other worlds.

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