Earth Acts Like A Giant Lava Lamp And That’s Why The Poles Are Reversing


Earth Acts Like A Giant Lava Lamp And That’s Why The Poles Are Reversing

Earth Acts Like A Giant Lava Lamp And That's Why The Poles Are Reversing
Earth Acts Like A Giant Lava Lamp And That’s Why The Poles Are Reversing – image via

Yes, Earth’s magnetic poles are reversing right now and it’s doing it just like a lava lamp. But before you panic or something, please remember that it happened before. In fact, it happened quite a few times in Earth’s history, with the last time being some 780,000 years ago. Over the many millions of years, pole reversals took place roughly ever 200 to 300 thousand years or so, but over the past several million years, this process seems to have slowed down a bit.

The thing with these pole reversals is that they don’t flip suddenly but take hundreds, if not thousands of years. And the way scientists can make this out is by studying the formation of magnetic materials found on the planet’s surface. The importance of the magnetic poles is that they act like a protective layer surrounding Earth by pushing away the Sun’s rays and preventing the atmosphere from being blown out into space. It’s also responsible for the northern lights, by the way. Mars, for instance, doesn’t have magnetic poles and as a result, it has a much thinner atmosphere.

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Nevertheless. scientists predict that during one such flip, the Earth will have more than two poles and the whole thing will be more chaotic that it is now. But they want to assure us that no extinctions were preserved in the fossil record that coincides with these events. What they predict will happen is that the planet will be more vulnerable to solar flares and power outages, migratory birds might become disoriented, and the ozone layer will become weaker.


The thing is that, besides this knowledge surrounding pole reversals, scientists don’t really know what’s causing them. We do know that they are a result of the Earth’s molten metal core, but not much beyond that. There are some theories, however, and one of them is more plausible than others.

Some believe these events happen because the inside of the planet acts like a giant lava lamp. For those of us who don’t know how one lava lamp works, it’s quite simple. Basically what you have is a heat source which is the light bulb at the bottom, some wax and some water. In normal circumstances, the wax is heavier than the surrounding water and it sinks at the bottom. But when the light is turned on, it heats up the wax, expanding it and then making it float to the surface. Once there, the wax begins to cool and it then floats back down where it’s reheated and so on.

The different layers of the Earth. image via

This is what scientists believe is happening inside our Earth as we speak. And, moreover, they think it has happened since the planet was created. The main reason they don’t know more is the fact that they simply can’t see it since it’s underground. The only reason they do know as much as they do is thanks to modern technology that allows scientists to detect some of the inner workings of the earth by making use of the vibrations of large earthquakes around the planet.

In any case, they’ve identified two large “blobs” of molten metal from the inner core that are closer to the surface than the core itself. They believe that these “blobs” periodically rise to the surface of the planet, cool off and then they sink back down. This is the planet’s way, in a sense, to transfer the inner heat to the outside. If this theory is actually correct or not, we will just have to wait and see.