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Monday, January 8, 2018
As the earth cooled after it had finished growing, the lithosphere--the hard, outermost layer between the mantle and the Earth's crust cracked like an eggshell and split into seven large and twelve small floating islands with jagged edges. These islands are the tectonic plates that move continuously over the viscous mantle, rubbing, pushing, and trying to mount one over the other.
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Today's Random Fact:
Earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains are all formed by Earth's moving plates. Hidden from human sight under the oceans, there are the earth's largest mountain ranges that circle the planet like the stitching on a baseball.
A hot spot is a column of basalt that punctures the earth's crust and allows magma to escape from the interior. The movement of a tectonic plate over a hot spot forms a chain of volcanic islands, called a seamount. One well known example of a seamount is a chain of ancient volcanoes that were once over the hot spot that is now under Hawaii.