The earth is the homeland of human existence, and it is also a water world. We all know that water resources on the surface of the earth account for 71% of the total area, and there are also many water resources inside the earth, which continue to come to the surface through geological activities and volcanic eruptions.
Looking at the earth from space, you can understand that the earth can indeed be called a water ball. Water is the source of life. It is because of the abundant water resources on the earth’s surface that early life can be born 3.8 billion years ago, and life can undergo a step-by-step evolution, and finally, intelligent human beings will be born.
So some people have this question: How did the water in the early days of the earth come from? According to scientists’ research on the formation of planets, the early Earth was a purgatory world, full of magma, and the temperature was still very high. Early water was formed after the earth continued to cool down, so how did this early water come from? Is it from the earth itself or from outside the earth?
In fact, scientists have been exploring and studying the origin of water in the early days of the earth. There are two mainstream speculations, one comes from the formation of the earth itself, and the other comes from a comet outside the earth.
Let’s first look at this speculation from the comet. I believe many friends know that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. When humans first walked out of the earth, they thought that water was a very rare species in the universe. And planets with abundant water resources like the earth should be relatively few in the universe, but as scientists continue to explore the solar system, we have discovered that water is a very common substance in the solar system.
The farther away from the sun, the more water planets exist. There are a lot of water ice on the surface of many moons of Jupiter and Saturn. For example, Europa and Europa are basically covered by water ice. They have more water than the earth. Although the surface of the earth is also rich in water resources, it is insignificant compared to the water on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
In addition, Uranus, Neptune, and most of the celestial bodies in the Kuiper Belt at the edge of the solar system can be said to be an ice world. This shows that water is a ubiquitous substance in the solar system. Why is water a ubiquitous substance in the solar system? The reason is not complicated. The composition of water is very simple. It is hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, and it also contains a lot of oxygen.
Far away from the sun, it is easy to form water through oxyhydroxide reactions, so it is not surprising that there are a large number of water planets. Similarly, we zoom in to the entire universe, and water is also a universal substance. It is believed that there are many water planets in various star systems. The solar system is not a special case, and the earth is not a special case. From this we can also draw a conclusion that life is possible and universal in the universe.
Although hydrogen and oxygen are universal in the universe, their chemical reaction easily forms water and then falls on various celestial bodies. However, in the stellar system, it is difficult to form water within the habitable zone. The reason is that it is too close to the star and is digested by the radiant energy emitted by the star. In the solar system, there are three habitable planets: Venus, Earth and Mars. Of course, there is a Mercury closer to the sun.
In the space where the earth is located, the water formed by the combination of hydrogen and oxygen is difficult to exist in a free form, so it is unlikely that the space water formed by condensation will fall on the earth. Even so, Venus, Earth, and Mars still formed abundant surface water resources in their early days. The reason for this is mainly because the early solar system was still unstable, and a large number of comets from the edge of the solar system continued to rush toward the inner galaxy.
We all know that a comet is a water ball that carries a large amount of water ice. When the comet enters the earth’s atmosphere, the ice water carried on it continues to melt, and part of it remains in the atmosphere to form atmospheric water, and part of it comes to the surface with the impact. Water resources are formed. With the continuous impact of comets on the earth, a large amount of water has also come to the earth, and after the atmosphere is rich in water vapor, there will be a water cycle.
This is the first guess of scientists about the earth’s water resources: a gift from a comet, and the second guess is that the earth’s self-produced and sold products, and the early water came from the earth itself can also be divided into several guesses. One guess is that the temperature changes inside the earth and the effect of gravity in the early days were formed.
We all know that water is produced by the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. In the early days, the earth’s internal matter was differentiated and convective, so the earth gradually differentiated into circles. In the process of differentiation, hydrogen and oxygen gas floated to the surface and passed various physics. And chemical action generates water vapor, which liquefies and accumulates to form a primitive ocean.
The second guess is that water was produced when basalt formed the original crust when it melted and then cooled. We all know that there are radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium inside the earth. These elements release heat energy through decay. As a result, a high-temperature state inside the earth is formed, high-melting substances sink, and easily meltable substances rise, separating volatile substances: nitrogen, oxygen, carbohydrates, sulfur, and a large amount of water vapor.
The third guess is that the water of the early earth came from magma deep underground. We all know that the inside of the earth is a world of lava, with flowing magma everywhere. For the water resources contained in these magmas, experiments have shown that magma with a pressure of 15 kPa and a temperature of 10,000 ℃ can dissolve 30% of the water.
Scientists analyzed the magma produced by the volcanic eruption and found that it contained water, and as the depth continued to increase, the water content of the magma also increased. Therefore, some scientists believe that in the early days of the earth, there were a lot of water resources inside, and they came to the earth through magma eruption, forming a huge ocean area.
Whether the water in the early earth came from the earth itself or an extraterrestrial comet is still unclear, but more and more scientists support it from the earth itself. This is because, with the continuous advancement of human science and technology, we have gained more and more understanding of matter and the earth. In particular, the earth’s water cycle is the most important part of the entire ecological organism.
In the past, we have always believed that the earth’s water cycle is mainly the cycle of the earth’s surface and the atmosphere, but now more and more evidence shows that the water cycle between the earth’s interior and the surface may be the most important link in the entire water cycle system. If this conclusion is correct, it means that the water content in the earth’s interior may far exceed the surface.
Of course, it is still difficult to prove this with the current technological strength of mankind, although we have a comprehensive understanding of the surface. But for the interior of the earth, we still don’t have a good way to detect it, and humans’ scientific and technological capabilities cannot really go deep into the earth’s interior, especially the mantle layer.
If in the future, we have the technology to reach the interior of the earth, we may be able to discover more underground mysteries. At that time, we will be able to detect the water content in the interior of the earth in detail. Perhaps there, we will truly find the origin of the earth’s water.
If the water in the early earth came mainly from the changes of the earth itself, then other terrestrial planets, such as Venus and Mars, also had the conditions for the birth of a large amount of water resources in the early days. The terrestrial planets all had the same evolutionary process in the early days, and the interior was also a high-temperature, high-pressure magma world.
If this is the case, it means that Venus and Mars are also rich in water resources, but due to the harsh surface environment, they cannot exist on the ground and can only be stored inside the planet. Only after the surface has a suitable ecological environment can the internal water resources come to the surface and form a water world. It can be seen that there may still be a large amount of water resources under the surface of Mars, which is a problem for humans. Great news.
With water, there is a basis for life. If we want to transform Mars in the future to make it a second earth suitable for human survival, it will absolutely not work without the existence of a large amount of water resources. If we understand the origin of water in the early days of the earth, it will be of great help for us to understand the universe and understand extraterrestrial life.