The Center Of The Earth Is Solid (Not Liquid) Iron

“As I looked I began to appreciate the reason for the strangeness of the landscape that had haunted me from the first with an illusive suggestion of the bizarre and unnatural—there was no horizon!” —Edgar Rice Burroughs, At the Earth’s Core (the author imagines the core to be hollow and have its own sun)

In A Nutshell

The Earth is composed of a series of layers, and at the very center of it all is a large iron ball we’ve come to know as the inner core. The inner core is responsible for providing the Earth with a magnetic field. If you’ve always imagined that the center of the Earth is full of magma, you’re not entirely wrong—the outer core is molten magma and nickel.

The Whole Bushel

You might imagine that the center of the Earth is full of lava. Or dinosaurs. Or power crystals. Or the Devil. But in reality, the center of the Earth is actually solid iron shaped like a ball (albeit an extremely massive ball).

The technical term for this region is the “inner core,” and the temperature there can reach up to 7,000 degrees Celsius (13,000 °F). If that sort of heat were applied to iron on the surface, it would be a gooey mess in a second. But at the very center of the Earth, there’s far too much pressure for anything to melt. The weight and gravity of the entire planet are keeping the iron solid.

Since no one has ever been to the center of the Earth, how do we know it’s solid? Well, earthquakes. Seismic waves respond differently to different substances, and bend in reaction to the planet’s different layers. From this, it was deduced that the inner core is solid—and that it is what generates our planet’s magnetism (which is important for things like compasses). Additionally, this magnetism plays a role in reducing the amount of harmful radiation that can reach the troposphere.

Now, the outer core is composed of molten iron and nickel. Temperatures at the outer core can reach 5,000 degrees Celsius (9,000 °F). The other layers of the Earth include the mantle (a rocky interior above the core) and the crust (where literally every known living thing in the universe lives).

Recently, geologists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered an inner inner core. It’s still solid iron, it’s just composed of a different crystalline structure.

Show Me The Proof

National Geographic: Core
Universe Today: Discovery of the Earth’s Inner, Inner Core

  • Lisa 39

    What? Nuh-uh, in the movie ‘the core’ it was liquid and the hero’s of the movie had to use nukes to get it flowing again.
    I really had no idea it was solid, very interesting article Joshua.

    • Number Six

      Another interesting fact; it also contains Brendan Fraser. In 3 whole dimensions.

      • Lisa 39

        Brenden Fraser, where? He’s one of my favorite actors ever!

        • Number Six

          Werefraser? There Fraser!

          • Lisa 39

            I love that movie! I own it of course, I also love George of the jungle but my favorite movies with him are the mummy movies!

          • Number Six

            I didn’t like the 3rd Mummy, but the first 2 were a lot of fun. Crash and Dogfight are his best IMO.

          • Lisa 39

            I liked the 3rd but not as much as the first two, maybe because they weren’t in the desert but that might have been overkill if they had tried it, also I’ve heard people complain over the different Evelyn, but Rachael Weiss had just had a baby and didn’t want to drag her along so she turned down the job.
            I haven’t seen crash or dogfight, I recall seeing a movie called dogfight but I don’t think they’re the same movie, I don’t recall Fraser in the one I saw. What was dogfight about?

          • Number Six

            It’s a romance revolving around a newly trained marine about to be sent into Vietnam and his lover. Fraser isn’t the lead, but he gives a good supporting performance. I recommend it!

          • Lisa 39

            Is it the one where the guys bring ugly girls to the party but then the lead guy falls for his girl?

          • Colin Osborne

            I heard that you and Sugar Bear are breaking up.

          • Lisa 39

            You again? Where’ve you been? Did mommy ground you from the computer?

          • Colin Osborne

            No, I just don’t spend all day on these websites like you do, you elephant seal.

          • oouchan

            Oi….knock it off!
            Behave.

          • Colin Osborne

            I thought it was pretty funny.

          • oouchan

            Yeah..laugh riot. :/

          • Colin Osborne

            Are you also very overweight like Lisa?

          • Lisa 39

            I think he secretly loves me! To bad he has a grade school mentality lol

          • oouchan

            Yeah…like pulling your braids. 🙂

          • Lisa 39

            Exactly, along with the name calling, its textbook second grade crush behavior lol

          • Colin Osborne

            Yeah, I’ve always had an affinity to creatures that outweigh me threefold. The propellor scars on your back are a real turn-on too.

          • Clyde Barrow

            Didn’t ‘Dogfight’ have the girl in it that starred in ‘I Shot Andy Warhol’? Ashley something-or-other. Damn, now gotta Google it…

          • Lisa 39

            So I googled dogfight and we are talking about the same movie! I agree, good movie 🙂

  • Clyde Barrow

    Hmm, solid iron is very difficult to drill through. This will definitely thwart Dr. Evil’s plan to drill to the center of the Earth and destroy us all…

    Unless we pay him ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!

    • Lisa 39

      Maybe we can placate him with some frickin sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their frickin heads!

      • Clyde Barrow

        See, now you’re thinking!

        • Lisa 39

          I try, its a good thing I watched all those Austin Powers movies, now I know how to make bad guys happy, sharks and fembots!

          • Clyde Barrow

            Never cared for the Fembots…not when I have Bonnie Parker. Nevermind the imposters! 😉

          • Lisa 39

            My boys love the fembots boobs, weirdos!

          • Clyde Barrow

            Perhaps because they have gun barrels protruding from them. It’s a testosterone thing.

          • Lisa 39

            So I said to them, you guys are crazy for loving some boobs that can kill you, they said they didn’t care because they’re boobs.

          • Clyde Barrow

            Us wiser men, we call them “Black Widows”.

          • Lisa 39

            Because they mate with you and then suck the life out of you?

          • Clyde Barrow

            Well that, or they take out a life insurance policy on you 3 months before you “accidentally” commit suicide by poison, or suicide by shooting yourself in the chest 6 times. So yeah, Black Widows. Boobs are just a convenient distraction.

          • Lisa 39

            Yikers, remind me to stay straight, women are crazy!

  • robert

    so if the the Earths Iron core is solid, We can all agree that it is still super hot from all the gravitational force, right ? Well how does the ridiculously Hot Iron Core even produce a magnetic field ? MAGNETS DON’T WORK WHEN THEY ARE HOT, LET ALONE SUPER HOT ! try torching a magnet while it’s stuck to something, cause within seconds it will lose it’s magnetic field. How about this, maybe your wrong ? maybe Earth’s magnetic field is caused by the only thing it can be caused from ? and that would be from Electric currents that comes from our Electric Sun. Wait, I know !! we can just tell everybody dark matter creates our magnetic field ! problem solved

    • Peter

      It’s the rotation of the Core that creates the field. It in itself is not a Magnet.

      • robert

        thats what they say, but the truth is you get magnetic fields from electric currents and thats where we get ours from, cause you don’t get magnetic fields from hot iron, whether they are liquid or solid and besides, how is it that a solid core is surround by liquid anyways ? that makes as much sense as our sun having a 15 million degree core surrounded by a 3,000-10,000 F. surface and then a 2 million degree Corona. I mean, who thinks this stuff up ? somebody should tell them they’re nuts cause they are confusing science fiction with science. Think about it, they obviously are filling in the blanks where they lack solid proof. Like the sun for example, they have no way of measuring the temperature of the Sun’s core but they can measure accurately the Corona and the surface and the dark Sun spots caused by solar flares. They can’t measure beyond that, so where do they get 15 million degrees from ? They make it up because they assume that a thermonuclear reaction is happening in it’s core. They should of known right away that would be impossible, because 15 million degrees cannot cross a 3,000 degree wall to become 1.5 – 2 million degree corona. they should of threw that theory out and consider that the Corona is where the thermonuclear reaction and that the Sun’s core is the coldest part of the star, it really is that simple to understand that our Sun receives it’s energy externally and it’s obviously a giant ball of plasma that is being fed at it’s poles by electrical currents pinched by magnetic that do not come from a solid Iron core just like they don’t here on Earth. and anybody who can blink is smart enough to see that this makes more sense than the craziness fed to us in school. Currents of electricity is what is creates our magnetic fields . How can a solid Iron core explain the weakening of our magnetic field ? is the Iron core getting smaller ? is it spinning slower than normal ? no, but our Solar wind output has been diminishing, while our magnetic field is diminishing & just maybe they are related and maybe we are about to slip into the normal recurring Ice age all because the Birkeland current that feeds our sun is weakening .

        • oceanmaster

          Robert you are an idiot. You spew trash out and don’t have a single fact or figure to back what you are saying and you want to take on the whole science community. You are like a religious person who thinks the earth is 6000 years old. A troll and a waste of time. Bring the facts Mr. troll

  • Does this mean if people do fracking, they accidentally could dig into a existing a hole/crack and release ton of pressure which would lead to “very very bad things”