Drillers accidentally hit a pocket of molten rock underneath a working geothermal energy field in Hawaii, a lucky break for geologists that could allow them to map the geological plumbing that created everything we know as land.

The unprecedented discovery could act as a “magma observatory,” allowing scientists to test their theories about how processes transformed the molten rock below Earth’s surface into the rocky crust that humans live on today.

“This is like Jurassic Park for magmatic systems,” said Bruce Marsh, a geologist at Johns Hopkins University. “You can go to museums and see dinosaur skeletons. But if a paleontologist could see a dinosaur frolicking in the open countryside, it would be absolutely spellbinding. And this is what it is for me to see this thing in in its natural habitat.”…

Read more at wired.

Comments

  1. #1 thadd
    December 22, 2008

    Did anyone stop to think that comparing a discovery to Jurassic Park is a bad idea. Wasn’t the point of that not to play god etc?

  2. #2 marilove
    December 22, 2008

    …Thadd, I imagine he was mostly describing the feeling. Imagine how a paleontologist would feel if he or she saw a dinosaur in real life.

    ” it would be absolutely spellbinding.”

    That’s it. It was just a way for him to describe how it felt for him.