UnNews:Japanese to drill to Earth's mantle

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Japanese to drill to Earth's mantle

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Sunday, May 28, 2017, 22:26:59 (UTC)

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13 April 2017

Earth's core

This schematic of Earth's guts is merely an artist's rendition, as Paraguay objected to making an actual incision through it. Japanese scientists hope to validate theories that the innermost region tastes like bubble gum.

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- The Japanese are preparing to dispatch the ship Chikyu to drill down to the Earth's mantle, a region 6 miles down, beneath the Earth's crust, which is plenty hard in its own right, though flaky and savory.

Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) would be the first research institute ever to do this, and in fact has already completed its application to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Researcher Natsue Abe said, "We don’t know the exact composition of the mantle yet," but assured this interviewer that the mantle rock was a beautiful yellow-green, rather than rock-colored. That would make Earth a very large Jawbreaker. "In Japan we have some volcanoes, earthquakes and such kind of natural hazards,” he said in charming pidgin English. "We need to know the natural system more clearly or precisely." The hazards include building a nuclear power plant with easy enough access to tsunamis to render the entire east coast radioactive, sporadically attacking U.S. naval bases, and strangling its own economy for decades. All these hazards could be mitigated by the publication of scientific papers.

The project has risks of its own. If the mantle is in fact not rock but gas — if the Earth is not in fact a Jawbreaker but a gigantic celestial party balloon, then reaching the mantle could puncture the balloon, start a large whooshing sound, and send the Earth hurtling away from the Sun, perhaps out near Neptune, though it would beat back global warming for good. Other risks are that drill bits could break after four or five miles of drilling through solid rock, though that would spare them from being vaporized when they reach the heat of the mantle.

The Chikyu researchers have identified three sites at which they might begin the drilling. These include off the coast of Hawaii, just off Costa Rica, and near the French Riviera, where scientific evidence indicates there is topless sunbathing. Nevertheless, the project is not expected to start until 2030, due to the small matter of getting someone to cough up $540,000,000.

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