Despite momentous advances in science and technology in the last several decades, less than 0.4-percent of Earth’s total mass has been explored so far. All that is about to change, thanks to an international team of scientists that will attempt to drill into our planet’s mantle in the hopes of discovering important information about its composition as well as formation. The findings, the researchers believe, could also pave the way for more efficient techniques to predict and prevent earthquakes.
This ambitious project will be the first time that humans gain direct access to the Earth’s interior. Sandwiched between the crust and the incredibly hot core, the mantle is believed to constitute approximately 84-percent of the planet’s total mass. Speaking about this layer, located nearly 10 km (6 mi) below the ocean floor, Natsue Abe of the Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology said: