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Our Planet Rang Like a Bell For 20 Minutes, and Scientists Now Know Why

Back in November of 2018, scientists announced they came across something unprecedented, a massive seismic event felt all across the globe, causing the planet to essentially ring like a 'bell'. It's source? Unknown.

In 2018, the entire planet rang like a bell. Seismometers placed all around the globe recorded the mysterious phenomena, and experts were left stunned. Only now do we know what happened and what seismometers across the world recorded.

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An underwater eruption has just given rise to a brand-new volcano, 800 meters high, with a base of around five kilometers, researchers have reported.

The entire formation process, which caused more than 2,000 earthquakes to appear near the Island of Mayotte caused the entire planet to ring like a bell.

One of the most significant geological events recorded in history has generated the birth of

a new volcano about 800 meters high with an approximate base of around 5 kilometers reports the National Geological Survey of France.

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Image Credit: BGRM.
Image Credit: BGRM.

In fact, experts are calling it the most significant underwater eruption ever observed, and it took place in the Indian Ocean and may be the cause of a series of 2,000 earthquakes that have shaken the volcanic island of Mayotte for the past twelve months.

The successive earthquakes were registered since May 10, 2018, in the Comoro archipelago, located between Africa and Madagascar.

The strongest earthquake was of a recorded magnitude of 5.8 degrees, according to the National Geological Survey of France.

The unusual telluric activity in the area caught the attention of French geologists who monitor the site continuously.

However, it wasn’t until November 11 that something extraordinary happened that caused researchers to gather around the phenomenon and try and understand what was going on.

In November of 2018, the Earth rang like a bell

This is an undersea map showing the volcano. Image Credit: MAYOBS - CNRS/IPGP/IFREMER/BRGM.
This is an undersea map showing the volcano. Image Credit: MAYOBS – CNRS/IPGP/IFREMER/BRGM.

In November of 2018, a low-frequency sound was recorded by experts around the globe.

It was as if the Earth rang like a bell. The event continued for more than 20 minutes, and sensors around the globe, located as far 18,000 kilometers away from the epicenter listened in to the sound.

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It was something that had never been registered before.

In February of 2019, a team of scientists from the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France boarded the research vessel Marion Dufresne, to find the origin of the chain of geological events.

Geologists placed six seismometers at the bottom of the ocean, over 2 miles (3.5 km) down. The scientists then used multibeam acoustic sensors to map the ocean floor. Researchers also pulled up rocks and examined them for any changes.

“They were popping as we brought them on board,” reveals Nathalie Feuillet, director of the Institute of Geophysics in Paris (IPGP) and leader of the expedition, in an interview with Science.

These  ‘popping rocks’ are a clear sign that high-pressure gas was trapped within the black volcanic material.

The devices gathered data until May.

Now, scientists have recovered the devices and processed the data they fathered.

What they found was fascinating: a magma chamber had ejected molten rock on the sea floor, causing the Earth’s crust to break and a volcano to rise from the ‘underworld.’

This is an undersea map showing the volcano. Image Credit: MAYOBS – CNRS/IPGP/IFREMER/BRGM.

According to a press release from the French government, the new underwater volcano “is located over 3,500 meters (2.1 miles) deep. Its current size is estimated at 800 m in height (around half a mile) with a base of 4 to 5 km (2.4 miles to 3.1) in diameter. The plume of volcanic fluids 2 km (1.2 miles) in height does not reach the surface of the water.”

Given the fact that the plume of volcanic material only reached about 2 kilometers upwards is the reason why nothing was visible on the surface.

“We’ve never seen anything like this” concluded Feuillet.