Journey to the Center of Earth

Rough diamonds from the Juina region of Brazil.

Diamonds Illuminate the Origins of Earth's Deepest Oceans

Crystals could be the key to where our water came from, and what that means for finding life on other planets

The scalding solution that pipes from the vents does not boil because of the mass of water pushing down from above.

Scientists Explore Breathtaking Hydrothermal Vents in Virtual Reality

With a high-tech remotely operated vehicle, a team is able to map a dark, hot and toxic vent field on the ocean floor

This brittle star, Sigsbeia oloughlini, was found the coast of Esperance, Western Australia.

Meet the Diverse and Bizarre “Stars” of the Deep Sea

As human activities encroach on remote oceans, scientists work to map the denizens of the deep

Diamonds squeeze the truth about Earth's core out of experimental samples of iron and lighter elements like oxygen and carbon.

Crushing Pressures Start to Reveal the Truth About Earth's Core

Iron makes up the bulk of our planet's core. But now, researchers are getting closer to figuring out what else swirls at the center of the Earth

Water spreads like inky-blue fingers into mangrove forests along the shore of Australia's Ord River (top). The sediment load in the water shows up as yellow and orange while mudflats stick out like a light blue bull's-eye on the lower left.

These Stunning Satellite Images Turn Earth Into Art

These images illustrate the brutal beauty geologic processes carve into our planet

A woman sits amid the ruins of the Great Stone Church, which collapsed in an 1812 earthquake, at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

San Andreas May Have Had Help Triggering a Historic Earthquake

New evidence about a devastating quake in 1812 hints that the San Jacinto fault may be a bigger seismic risk than anyone thought

What Are You Flying Over? This App Will Tell You

Flyover Country uses maps and geology databases to identify features of the landscape as a plane flies over them, no Wifi necessary

Nematodes (blue) wiggle inside a stalactite from a South African gold mine in this image taken with a microscope.

Inner Earth Is Teeming With Exotic Forms of Life

More than a mile below the surface, our planet supports diverse creatures that could give us clues about life across the solar system

An artist's rendering of Chicxulub, the asteroid believed to have wiped out large dinosaurs and reshaped parts of the world.

We Finally Know How Much the Dino-Killing Asteroid Reshaped Earth

The impact that wiped out large dinosaurs also dumped hundreds of feet of debris in the ocean off the Yucatán peninsula

Meteorites embedded in ice sheets that run into the Transantarctic mountains can work their way to the surface, making it easier for scientists to collect these fragmented space rocks.

Iron Meteorites Play Hide-and-Seek Under Antarctic Ice

Meteorites give scientists a glimpse into our early solar system, but the sun's rays and melting ice may make these extraterestrial crumbs harder to find

Otherworldly Photos From Inside One of the World's Largest River Caves

Studded with cave pearls and home to elusive giant spiders, this cave is one of Laos' hidden treasures

The drill bit that the Atlantis Bank expedition broke near the start of operations. Three of the four "cones" used to dig the hole have snapped off.

A Decades-Long Quest to Drill Into Earth's Mantle May Soon Hit Pay Dirt

Geologists have had to contend with bad luck, budget cuts and the race to the moon in their efforts to drill deep into our planet

Rocky bodies that slammed into early Earth might have been integral in setting up the conditions for our magnetic field.

Humble Magnesium Could Be Powering Earth's Magnetic Field

The common element could have been driving the planet's dynamo for billions of years

Fossilized microbial mats, or stromatolites are one of the oldest fossils found on Earth. This one lurked in shallow waters 3.4 billion years ago.

Life and Rocks May Have Co-Evolved on Earth

A Carnegie geologist makes the case that minerals have evolved over time and may have helped spark life

Smithsonite, or zinc spar, is a carbon zinc ore.This mineral was named in 1832 after English chemist and mineralogist James Smithson (founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution).

We Are Missing At Least 145 Carbon-Bearing Minerals, and You Can Help Find Them

The Carbon Mineral Challenge is asking rock enthusiasts around the world to hunt for the undiscovered forms of this common element

Is Global Warming Changing How Fast the Earth Spins?

New research suggests that as glaciers melt, the planet's axis is shifting

Though the new method can't produce these large sparklers yet, it may be an important part of future diamond production.

Weird New Type of Carbon Is Harder (and Brighter) Than Diamond

Dubbed Q-carbon, the material is magnetic, emits a soft glow and can be used to grow diamonds faster and cheaper than ever before

The volcanic plume responsible for the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland has also brought up bits of Earth's ancient mantle from deep inside the planet.

Earth’s Water May Be as Old as the Earth Itself

Ancient volcanic rocks may have preserved tiny samples of the planet’s original moisture

"The Nut," an ancient volcanic plug on Tasmania in Australia

Scientists Recently Realized That 1,240 Miles of Volcanoes Were Connected

Now the Cosgrove Volcano Track is the longest on Earth

An aurora glows near Australia in a photo taken from the International Space Station. Auroras are products of charged particles from the sun interacting with Earth's magnetic field.

Earth’s Magnetic Field Is at Least Four Billion Years Old

Tiny grains of Australian zircon hold evidence that our magnetic shielding was active very soon after the planet formed

Page 2 of 3