The oldest geological features of the Earth
The most ancient parts of the Earth serve as convincing evidence that the living world moves and takes shape over entire eras. Whenever they are discovered, they bring with them new surprises, often confirming existing theories or confusing scientists even more.
But even those that are the oldest of their kind and which can be counted on the fingers, can cause awe because of their incredible age.
10. The most ancient surface
1.8 million years
In Israel, the desert surface looks the same as it was two million years ago. This desert surface confirmed scientific suspicions that if the space remains dry and completely flat and will not be exposed to weather conditions or geological activity, then its entire surface may remain unchanged for millions of years.
This incredible - and tangible - part of antiquity is not the oldest geological wonder, but it can fight for the title of one of the most fascinating.A person can just stand there and see eternity (although, given that it is in the hot desert, it may not be the best idea).
When it comes to age, this boundless sandy space far surpasses other desert landscapes. The next thing after it is a similar piece of land in the state of Nevada (USA), which is 4 times younger.
9. The oldest ice
15 million years
At first glance, the Dry Valleys of Antarctica appear to be ice-free. Their sinister Martian landscapes are diluted with barren rocks and dust cover. But under all this otherworldlyness, a part of the continent sleeps, which has been frozen for nearly 15 million years.
The oldest ice on the planet is in the very center of this permafrost. For a long time, the Dry Valleys remained strong and unchanged, but in recent years they have begun to thaw. For reasons that are not completely clear, the Garwood Valley is exposed to unusually warm weather.
One of the glaciers, a remnant of the Ice Age, at least 7,000 years old, has already lost a huge amount of ice, and shows no signs of stopping melting.Scientists are doing everything they can to determine exactly why the Garwood Valley now reaches more sunshine.
55 million years
The Namib Desert in Africa is officially the oldest desert in the world. Her “walking” dunes are the location of mysterious magic circles and another relic - the plant called Velvichia, which reaches 2500 years old.
The surface of this desert is completely devoid of any moisture, remaining dry for 55 million years. However, its origin dates back to the continental rift of West Gondwana, which occurred almost 145 million years ago.
The long-time unfriendly environment forced unique animals to evolve. To avoid fluid loss, Oryx (or Oryx) stops sweating, despite the heat. Specific blood vessels allow antelopes to live in temperatures that cause brain damage in animals of other species.
The inhabitants of this desert are mostly reptiles and rodents, but a rich collection of beetles is what the Namib desert is famous for.There are also the highest sand dunes in the world.
7. Ocean crust
340 million years
Indian and Atlantic oceans were not the first. The primeval ocean called Tethys once covered the entire Mediterranean, and, incredibly, its possible trace was found.
It is very rare when the bark of the seabed can date back more than 200 million years, because the Earth is constantly changing and pushes up new surfaces. Part of the surface in the Mediterranean avoided conventional geological recycling, and its scanning age became known during scanning. The ocean floor can magnetically record its own growth rate due to the absorption of shifts in the Earth’s magnetic field.
When scientists studied the Eastern Mediterranean time stamps, the rocks in the Herodotus Basin corresponded to magnetic alignments that occurred 340 million years ago. And if this is indeed a part of Tethys, then this is the first proof that the ancient sea existed much earlier than it was supposed at the beginning.
6. Reefs created by animals
548 million years
The oldest reef is not just one or two coral branches.This is a massive network covering 7 kilometers, which is in Africa. The supposed "builders" of this natural miracle in Namibia are the Claudins, the first creatures that had a skeleton. Rod-like animals produced their own calcium carbonate cement in the same way as modern corals, and used it to firmly attach to each other.
While very little is known about them, it seems that living creatures have fused together for security purposes - the Claudine fossils found in China have traces of damage from what could have been the effect of acid from a predator. Living in a fixed mass also means that the flow of water brings nutrients to these filtering organisms. In the face of growing competition for food and territory, this gave them a distinct advantage.
5. Mount Roraima
2 billion years
This mountain is located on the border of three countries. Going into the territory of Guyana and Brazil, most of this giant mountain is located on the territory of Venezuela.
The commemorative view from the flat top of Roraima is a major tourist attraction, and when the rainy season comes,the water flows very picturesquely from this plateau. The result is incredibly beautiful: waterfalls are born from nowhere. This look was so inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that he wrote his famous classic “The Lost World”.
First discovered by the West in 1596 by Sir Walter Raleigh while traveling in Guyana in search of the mythical city of El Dorado, Mount Roraima is one of the oldest formations on the planet.
4. The oldest water
2.64 billion years
Two miles down the Canadian mine is what was the prehistoric ocean floor. Scientists investigated the water pocket found there and were shocked by the result: it turned out to be the oldest water on the planet. It even precedes the development of multicellular life.
Water often flows into cracks, trapped for a long time. However, scientists who took a water sample from a Canadian mine, expected to find a normal age range of millions of years, but not billions.
The fascinating factor is that ancient water usually accumulates with the chemicals needed to sustain life.Indeed, microbes were found in a water pocket in South Africa, whose age is estimated at several million years. If the most ancient water also contains microbial organisms (it is still under study), then the scientific community hopes that life can also be found in similar conditions on Mars.
3. Impact Crater
3 billion years
A killer meteorite could measure comparable to a large part of Greenland. If this is confirmed, he will move from the pedestal of the current champion, the crater Vredefort (Vredefort crater) in South Africa, which is 2 billion years old. Initially counting up to 500 km in diameter, it will also have a record as the largest meteorite.
Impact evidence is powerful. Within the confines of the collision, rocks were destroyed, and K-feldspar was found. Since this mineral is melted, it indicates such an event, accompanied by extremely high combustion temperatures, like a meteorite strike.
There is also ample evidence that sea water has poured into a freshly formed crater, boiled and changed the chemistry of the environment.If such a hulk hits our planet today, then the human race will die out.
2. Plate tectonics
3.8 billion years
The outer layer of the Earth consists of several plates joined together like puzzle pieces. Their movements form the world and are known as plate tectonics. Greenland is again mentioned in this list, since its south-west coast has something historical.
Previous studies have estimated the earliest date of this phenomenon - 2.5 billion years ago. However, one team of scientists, looking for the original signs of life in pillow lavas, came across something that shifted this date to a good billion or more years.
They determined that cushion lavas and basaltic layers within this originated even when the early seabed began to expand, like a growing ring. These surprisingly preserved rocks are the earliest material evidence that the Earth formed itself.
1. Original Earth
4.5 billion years
Scientists believe that they have part of the original Earth. Baffin Island (Baffin Island) in the Canadian Arctic has volcanic rocks, which, it is incredible, were formed before our planet created its own earth crust.
Over time, they managed to avoid the geological recycling process, which was particularly intense at the beginning. This discovery may finally reveal what has happened inside the globe, that it has become more solid on the outside.
A trio never before seen was also discovered on Baffin Earth: lead, neodymium, and extremely rare helium-3. There is a reason why this mixture causes so much excitement in the scientific community. Together they are a long-absent imprint of material from which all the continents, mountains, and the surface of the Earth originally originated.