The Underground Ocean

Journey Center Earth Movie Poster 1959Last week, a team of scientists announced that they recently discovered a small amount of Ringwoodite ensconced in an otherwise unexceptional diamond from South America.  Led by geochemist Graham Pearson, the team claims that this particular rock formed deep within the Earth’s mantle, and that its existence proves an enormous amount of water lies buried more than 250 miles directly beneath our feet.  Some geochemists have even suggested that there may be more water underground than in all of the world’s oceans combined, though they acknowledge it remains utterly inaccessible at the moment.  If you want to learn more about the discovery, you can read the links here, here, and here.   In the meantime, this story got me thinking about the intrepid explorers who discovered a subterranean ocean in Jules Verne’s classic, Journey to the Center of the Earth.  French artist Édouard Riou provided several illustrations of this underground ocean in the book’s first edition (1864).  You can see examples of his artwork here, here, and here.  Some of you may also remember the celluloid version from 1959, starring Pat Boone and James Mason.  You can check out its depiction of the underground ocean here and here, and watch its classic trailer here.