Scientists Find Hell Zone Under The Earth, Here’s How Unbelievably Hot It Gets

Scientists have found a new, incredibly hot "Hell Zone" layer of the Earth.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Updated

hell earth

People may have different definitions of Hell on Earth. Some might say it’s their last job, others might say it’s being stuck in a room with their ex. Scientists and religious leaders alike have long since sought to find the proverbial Hell. According to a recent paper published in Nature Geoscience, scientists have found a Hell Zone under the Earth that most readers certainly will not want to go anywhere near. 

The study focuses on the asthenosphere, which is the upper layer of the Earth’s mantle. Located just below the lithosphere, the study notes that it “forms a relatively soft boundary that lets tectonic plates move through the mantle.” Although scientists had already been aware of this layer, it is a new discovery within the asthenosphere that is exciting to scientists and on which the study breaks ground.

The study’s abstract states “We present globally widespread evidence for a positive seismic-velocity gradient at depths of ~150 km, which represents the base of a particularly low-velocity zone within the asthenosphere. This boundary is most commonly detected in regions with elevated upper-mantle temperatures and is best modelled as the base of a partially molten layer.” Based on the study’s findings, their research implies that this Hell on Earth is “the presence of a globally extensive, partially molten zone embedded within the asthenosphere.” 

gates of hell

With molten lava ranging between 1,470°F to 2,190°F, this area of the asthenosphere is very hot. To be fair, the asthenosphere is nowhere near as hot as the Earth’s inner core, which ranges somewhere between 6,700°F and 14,000°F. Even though the temperatures of the Hell on Earth pale in comparison to heat sources like the Earth’s core and the Sun which can reach temperatures of around 27 million degrees Fahrenheit at its core, this is still one pit the readers will not want to fall into.

The asthenosphere is also much closer to the Earth’s surface than either the Earth’s outer or inner core.  Scientists theorize that it is somewhere between 62 and 255 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, while the outer core is about 1,795 miles away from the Earth’s surface. This means the asthenosphere is only the distance of a short road trip away.

This scientific news could represent a seismic shift in how scientists had seen the asthenosphere. Scientists had assumed that the asthenosphere was mostly solid, with small amounts of liquid to make it more flexible. This new discovery calls that belief into question and opens up a new layer of questions about what geologists know about the Earth.

According to the study, the portion of the asthenosphere that could be part of this molten layer could be as much as half of its entirety. This completely changes how scientists view the layer, and will also force them to reassess how they approach geological queries about the Earth’s layers moving forward.

The asthenosphere has long been a mysterious quandary to geologists, with many of its properties not conforming to the traditional thought of how solids interact in space. This study, then, helps to explain some of the layer’s strange properties. Moreso, this study shows that although scientists have solved many of the Earth’s puzzles, there is always more to unlock.

With newfound proximity to this molten zone, Earth-dwellers must reckon with the fact that Hell on Earth may be closer than many originally thought. Hopefully, this discovery will help scientists better understand this planet, and make more insightful discoveries about it moving forward. Who knows, it is quite possible that these new discoveries may come with the confirmation of other ancient or long-mythologized theories about the Earth.