10 most ancient geological formations on Earth, the age of which is amazing

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10 most ancient geological formations on Earth, the age of which is amazing
10 most ancient geological formations on Earth, the age of which is amazing
The most ancient geological formations on our planet.
The most ancient geological formations on our planet.

There are places on Earth that have remained unchanged for millions of years. When you find yourself in such places, you involuntarily become imbued with awe for the time and feel like just a grain of sand. This review contains the oldest geological antiquities of our planet, many of which are still a mystery to scientists today.

1. The oldest surface

1.8 million years

In Israel, one of the local desert areas looks the same as it did almost two million years ago. Scientists believe that this plain remained dry and extremely flat for such a long time due to the fact that the climate did not change here and there was no geological activity. According to those who have been here, you can look at the endless barren plain almost forever … if you can stand the wild heat well.

2. The oldest ice

The oldest ice
The oldest ice

15 million years

At first glance, the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are ice-free. Their eerie "Martian" landscapes consist of bare rocks and thick layers of dust. There are also remnants of ice that are approximately 15 million years old. Moreover, a mystery is connected with this most ancient ice on the planet. The valleys have remained stable and unchanged for millions of years, but in recent years they have begun to thaw. For unknown reasons, unusually hot weather for Antarctica was established in the Garwood Valley. One of the glaciers began to melt vigorously for at least 7000 years. Since then, it has already lost a huge amount of ice and there are no signs that this will stop.

3. Desert

55 million years

The Namib Desert in Africa is officially the world's oldest "pile of sand". Among its dunes one can find mysterious “magic circles” and desert plants of velvichia, some of which are 2,500 years old. This desert has not seen surface water for 55 million years. However, its origins go back to the continental split of Western Gondwana, which occurred 145 million years ago.

4. Oceanic crust

Traces of the primeval ocean Tethys
Traces of the primeval ocean Tethys

340 million years

The Indian and Atlantic oceans were far from the first. Scientists believe they have found traces of the primitive Tethys Ocean in the Mediterranean Sea. It is very rare that the crust of the seabed can be dated more than 200 million years ago, as it is in constant motion and new layers rise to the surface. The site in the Mediterranean escaped normal geological recirculation and was scanned at a record age (340 million years ago). If this is indeed part of Tethys, then this is the first evidence that the ancient ocean existed earlier than previously thought.

5. Reefs created by animals

548 million years

The oldest reef is not just one branch or two of coral. It is a massive petrified “net” that stretches for 7 km. And he is in Africa. The claudins, the first creatures with skeletons, created this miracle of nature in Namibia. The extinct rod-shaped animals produced their own calcium carbonate cement, like modern corals, and used it to stick together. Although very little is known about them today, scientists believe that claudins have banded together to defend against predators.

6. Mount Roraima

Ancient Mount Roraima is a popular tourist attraction
Ancient Mount Roraima is a popular tourist attraction

2 billion years

Three countries border this mountain: Guyana, Brazil and Venezuela. Its huge flat top is a popular tourist attraction, and when rainfall is high, the water from the mountain falls in waterfalls onto the plateau below. The sight of Roraima inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle so much that he wrote his famous classic The Lost World. At the same time, few tourists know that Mount Roraima is one of the most ancient formations in the world.

7. Water

2.64 billion years

At a depth of 3 kilometers in a Canadian mine is what used to be a prehistoric ocean floor. After the scientists took samples from the "pocket" of water found in the mine, they were shocked when this liquid turned out to be the oldest H2O on the planet. This water is older than even the first multicellular life.

8. Impact crater

Impact crater in Genlandia is a mystery to scientists
Impact crater in Genlandia is a mystery to scientists

3 billion years

A huge meteorite could have “knocked out” a significant chunk from Greenland a long time ago. If proven, the Greenland crater will “move off the throne” of the current champion - the 2 billion-year-old Vredefort crater in South Africa. Initially, the crater diameter was up to 500 kilometers. To this day, there is evidence of impact, such as shattered rocks at the edges of the crater and molten mineral formations. There is also ample evidence that seawater poured into a newly formed crater and that a gigantic amount of steam altered the chemistry of the environment. If such a whopper hits the Earth today, the human race will face the threat of extinction.

9. Tectonic plates

3.8 billion years

The outer layer of the earth is made up of several “plates” that are stacked together like puzzle pieces. Their movements shape the outward appearance of the world, and these “plates” are known as tectonic plates. Traces of ancient tectonic activity have been found on the southwestern coast of Greenland. 3, 8 billion years ago, the colliding plates "squeezed" out the "pillow" of lava.

10. Earth

This is what the oldest surface on Earth looks like
This is what the oldest surface on Earth looks like

4.5 billion years

Scientists believe that part of the Earth, which the planet was at birth, may have fallen into their hands. Volcanic rocks have been found in Baffin Land in the Canadian Arctic, which formed even before the earth's crust formed. This discovery may finally reveal what happened to the globe before it became solid. These rocks contained a previously unseen combination of chemical elements - lead, neodymium and extremely rare helium-3.

For everyone who is interested in the history of our planet, we have collected 15 incredible mysteries of the Universe that still excite scientists today.

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