There is only one truly wild frontier remaining on Earth: the ocean floor. Seeing that it’s 2020, you might expect that we know a lot about the ocean. The reality, however, is that we’ve only explored 1 percent of it. That, however, is set to change after a team of geoscientists developed a way to scan the planet and build a 3D model of its interior — using devices called MERMAIDs.
The devices act like underwater drones and withhold the ability to dive to a depth of 3000 meters below the surface of the ocean. The devices carry technology such as seismometers and hydrophones to scan the planet and create a snapshot of Earth’s internal dynamics. For the reconnaissance mission, they will focus on measuring giant plumes of hot rock, 435 miles below the South Pacific Ocean.
Now, you might be asking: what’s the importance of measuring the ocean’s floor? According to the scientists, gaining knowledge about the temperature, density, shape, and composition of the Earth can be crucial for helping scientists understand the inner workings of the Earth’s mantle, the layer between the thin crust and the deep core at the center of the Earth. By learning more about this, scientists can then make more accurate models of Earth’s past and make predictions about the future.