HAWAII- The bizarre finding, which sends compasses into an uncontrollable spin, had scientists baffled – while locals linked it to Hawaiian folklore which attaches deep spiritual significance to the massive volcano which is almost one million years old.
But now the reason for the magnetic volte-face has been explained – and it’s even more mind-blowing.
According to geologists the molten rock below the Mount Kilauea caldera contains vast amounts of iron and is effectively a sea of floating magnets. About 780,000 years ago the rock cooled and simultaneously the Earth’s magnetic field inexplicably FLIPPED – the South Pole became the North and the North Pole became the South. But the sea of iron magnets below Mount Kilauea were now cooled and trapped in the now solid rock – with their poles facing the opposite way to everything else on the planet.
Studies into lava flows both below and above the Earth’s surface are slowly unlocking the reasons why the planet’s field flips every so often.
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