Earth Should Be Dry – An Unexpected Meteorite Discovery Reveals the Origin of Earth’s Vast Oceans

Earth's Oceans

Meteorite material presumed to be devoid of water because it formed in the dry inner Solar System appears to have contained sufficient hydrogen to have delivered to Earth at least three times the mass of water in its oceans, a new study shows.

While the idea that enstatite chondrite (EC) meteorites contained enough hydrogen to provide water to the growing proto-Earth has been proposed, efforts to rigorously test this scenario have been hampered by difficulties in measuring hydrogen concentrations in ECs — an obstacle this study overcame.

According to models of Solar System formation, Earth should be dry. However, our blue planet’s vast oceans, humid atmosphere and well-hydrated geology boldly defy such predictions, making it unique among the other rocky planets of the inner Solar System.

Thus, while debated, the origin of Earth’s water remains unknown.

Enstatite chondrite meteorites — space rocks forged from the nebula that formed the Solar System — are known to be representative of the rocks from which Earth was built. However, because ECs formed close to the sun, where conditions were too warm for water ice to survive, ECs have been assumed to be too dry to account for Earth’s rich reservoirs of water. As such, Earth’s water is therefore generally thought to be a late addition following the planet’s formation, delivered by more hydrated materials like carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which originated in the outer solar system where water was more abundant.

To constrain the uncertainties surrounding the origin of Earth’s water, Laurette Piani and colleagues measured the hydrogen content and deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratio in thirteen EC meteorites, finding that ECs harbor far more hydrogen than previously assumed. Following further analyses involving modeling of Earth’s formation that involved mixing of chondrite-like materials, the authors estimate that the EC-like materials that coalesced during the planet’s early formation could have delivered enough hydrogen to the growing proto-Earth to provide at least three times the amount of water in Earth’s present-day oceans.

The D/H ratio and nitrogen isotope compositions of the analyzed ECs closely align with those of the Earth’s mantle, supporting Piani et al.’s claims that the origins of Earth’s water lay within the rocks from which the planet was built. “[Piani et al.’s] work brings a crucial and elegant element to this puzzle. Earth’s water may simply come from the nebular material from which the planet accreted,” writes Anne H. Peslier in a related Perspective.

The authors note they cannot determine exactly when the material was delivered, but it must have been sufficiently late during Earth’s formation.

Read Unexpected Findings Result in New Origin Theory for Earth’s Water for more on this discovery.

Reference: “Earth’s water may have been inherited from material similar to enstatite chondrite meteorites” by Laurette Piani, Yves Marrocchi, Thomas Rigaudier, Lionel G. Vacher, Dorian Thomassin and Bernard Marty, 28 August 2020, Science.
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba1948

61 Comments on "Earth Should Be Dry – An Unexpected Meteorite Discovery Reveals the Origin of Earth’s Vast Oceans"

  1. Barry I Fruitman | September 6, 2020 at 10:26 am | Reply

    I’m no scientist but doesn’t water require oxygen too? Wouldn’t all that hydrogen just bleed away without it?

  2. Well I’m also no scientist and I would think the obvious answer of how any planet would have water would be due to a Comet impact more than a meteorite. Comets are made of Ice, dust,helium, rocks,etc… it would just seem more obvious. I know the science world doesn’t always go with easy explanations. Not to say that meteorites didn’t have any part in it, just that it would seem a icy comet formed from the edge of our solar system or another solar system mixed with the impact of a planet in the Goldilocks zone of our star and solor system. But at the end of the day I’m much more inclined to believe in a higher power. To simply believe we evolved from apes is in my mind crazy. How do we explain all the other lifeforms on earth? What did they evolve from? I’m all for science and now it plays an important part in our lives but I’m also not too small minded to believe that we didn’t get a helping hand in the creation of life on earth. Everything we think we know about our solor system much less the universe is all theory not much more.

    • “How do we explain all the other lifeforms on earth? What did they evolve from?!
      “I’m also not too small minded to believe that we didn’t get a helping hand in the creation of life on earth”

      That’s exactly what a small minded person would say. And you might be right for the wrong reasons. YOU SMALL BRAIN; I BIG BRAIN.

    • Anyone notice how Adam uses his spiritual beliefs to call you dumb if you don’t believe in them? I don’t understand that you could say someone is small-minded cause they do not agree with some sort of cosmic deity helping form the universe. I think you’re looking for answers in a universe we know little about and also we cant comprehend most of it

    • The asteroids of the inner Solar System are generally free of surface water because it has sublimated (been heated and converted into a gas) by the Sun and swept away by the solar wind.

  3. Just enjoy it every other species in the great void of our universe is desperately trying to find it. So remember when we leave the planet to look for whatever we are looking for it was always right in front of you.

  4. Love me a cold glass of water thank heavens for clouds.

  5. It seems biblical flood may have been due to a water based asteroid meteor comet etc.

  6. I agree with Adam. It seems logical that a large water-based Comet struck the Earth many many moons ago.

  7. Evidence for evolution: broad and robust.
    Evidence for creationism: a single book written thousands of years after the fact by the very creatures believing themselves to be the ordained apes of a higher power.
    Look to faith to face the difficulties of existence. Look to spirituality to find meaning in the mess of the cosmos. Look to science to explain why the cosmos is so messy. How and why are not mutually exclusive.

  8. Their are millions of hypotheses to this subject matter transformation. Everyone involved existence in it because of it. Is why quantum effect entanglement exists is the container of the matrix is waterproof. #Quirigua

  9. Sure God had a hand in life on this planet, and many others, and the whole universe. Evolution doesn’t disprove god, it just disproves religion’s take on it. A pretty steadfast law of physics is you can’t get something from nothing. Yet the universe spawned from nothing. The “God created the universe” theory actually holds a lot of merit if you ignore the religious aspects of God.
    Perhapse God engineered evolution. Maybe God is an AI that intentionally created biological life and seeded the planet. Based on how inhospitable most of the universe is to biological life, the odds of synthetic intelligence(robotic abiogenesis?) Popping up would seem to be greater than biological life.

  10. Geez, I love space stuff. Wish it was easier to read about. I mean difficult to read and understand paragraphs like “To constrain the uncertainties… Give us old farts some interesting and easier space stories to read about. Sorry about the jab on old folks. I’m sure most are more well read than me. Peace kids.

  11. Can't disprove a negative | September 6, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Reply

    To the guy using “God”. You can’t disprove a negative.. so you’re already losing a lot of weight just from that statement.

  12. Robert Clarkson | September 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Reply

    I was of an uncertain mind about the theory of the Creation of the heavens and earth, until science came to present their own, scientific theory. Both those believing in Creation and those believing in the scientific explanation come to the exact same point. At first, there was nothing. Science is speculating that “something” intruded on nothing
    and caused an infinitesimal “spark”. From that spark came all of the galaxies. Religion, at least all variations of Christianity and Muslim cultures, believe there was nothing (void and without form), then God said “Let there be light, and there was light”. God supplied everything.

    Writer(s) some 4000 years ago coming to the same starting point as scientists, just recently? Coincidences happen, but I can’t begin to track the odds of that happening. I suspect that in the minds of some, “someone” from a civilization far forward of ours went back in time and “dictated” the logical, scientific explanation for the “beginnings”. But I can’t even grasp that concept.

    At this point in time, both the scientific and religious explanations have relatively the same weight. Both are theories. Both require “faith” to justify them. I have faith in the Creation version from the “one book”.

  13. Just how do you know that the “helping hand” being alluded to by Adam was not meant by him to be alien visitors?

  14. Hydroxyl. Common in a star’s corona. Knock an oxygen molecule off in an electrical process and you seed the entire planet with oxygen and water. Examine the planets as a progression our of the sun instead of current theory.

    • Science and religion…it’s what makes the world go round.
      From the beginings of time as we know it, mankind has been disagreeing on this very subject. Which came first! the chicken or the egg ? See what I’m getting at🤪👍🌈 stay safe and keep speculating.

  15. Aztec Indians and other tribes have witnessed a higher power than their own just as the Christians had many years ago

  16. Frederick R Young | September 6, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Reply

    Send space ice to Mars and get some atmosphere going. Terraform that mother.

  17. Look up water bears.. Sorry to burst your little bubble but evolution is real just as are higher powers.

  18. I believe ots happened more than once.

  19. I always wondered if maybe we were God’s fifth grade science project.

  20. Christopher Mitchell | September 6, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Reply

    Great topic to talk about! So my thoughts are this… We know our Sun is capable of nuclear fusion up to what? The mid 90’s on The Periodic Chart? Now then it would make sense that a powerful magnet close to it like the iron core of Earth would very slowly over time collect some of the Sun’s magnetic particles it ejects very slowly overtime with it’s magnetic core. So we can almost think of the sun as an open still, sweating off many sizes of molecules for Earth to grab onto like a tray in a crude oil distillery. The trays closer to the heat, the longer or bigger molecules that come out of an oil refinery, as you get to the top (further from the sun and the heat) the molecules are smaller and colder. Eventually the Earth gathered so much mass from attracting enough magnetic particles / molecules, it has not just the magnetic field of the Earth gathered it’s components… It gathered enough mass from the sun and occasional kisses from comets and meteors and asteroids, ect., (99.9% was probably all from the sun over time😉) that it has it’s own gravity field and begins to amass all sorts of more molecules that the sun ejects that are not magnetic. Then we get some very complex molecules collecting on this planet that eventually lead us to as we are now. So I think these things we learn like this overtime are great pieces of knowledge, even though it feels like we didn’t get a bootfull of super groundbreaking data, we got some very simple yes or no’s sort of answered. Earth’s water didn’t come from stuff slamming into her from the things we know did shlam into her real hard. I strongly feel as though the more we understand science the more peaceful we will become and work together more in earnest to help our neighbors as family. What we really need to do is take a step back and ask, should I ever listen to someone that argues with a thermometer? Well if you don’t believe in science, you need to get off the internet and bury your head in sand. If you use a thermometer to see if your kid is sick but you want to deny global warming, well, I hope you come around man… But don’t denounce science because it doesn’t have every answer right now. They just finished part of a new telescope that can see 100 times further than Hubble, don’t be the person to talk down about that… Best wishes to you all

  21. This is why spiritual beliefs don’t mix well with science people start to become too entitled with themselves

  22. WRONG! Truth is The earth bleeds its own water from the inside out, no need to invent complicated and ridiculous scenarios. Our planet is a droplet of plasma flung off from a fast-spinning proto-sun, not made from the accretion of ‘rocks’. Not big enough to keep burning as a star itself, Earth formed its crust as it cooled. But deep inside the hydrogen-rich plasma keeps burning , producing the planets water which seeps to collect on the surface. Water vapour also streams forth from the sun continuously Water water everywhere. But we simply don’t need our water delivered, because we produce our own. If you burn hydrogen the exhaust is water vapour. Chemistry 1.01.

  23. Jeff DiGiovanni | September 6, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Reply

    Earth’s water never came from was already in the rocks that formed the planets. As earth’s increased from rocks conglomeration, gravity also increased. As the planet grew, heat and pressure from within grew thus squeezing out the gases contained in the rocks to form the atmosphere where earth’s gravity kept a hold of it. In addition, the Earth’s gravity gobbled up the gases in space just as all the other planets did as earth orbited the sun.

    Not sure why “scientists” want to think earth’s water came from the great bombardment. The bombardment of rocks or comets are all made of the same rocks or comets that collectively formed the planet. It is only logical to conclude that if water is present in asteroids and comets, then that same water would have been present in the asteroids and rocks made earth.

    It’s like…duh.

  24. Hey creationists! The Universe started as a singularity……that is NOT nothing. Basically, imagine all of the ever expanding universe was contained within a pen head that started expanding at the speed of light. A pin head is almost not discernable, but it is still something.

  25. God made this earth and hide a lot of info from us, only him knows why.

  26. Well, if you think a comet makes more sense, cool I guess. Not sure why you felt the need to share that, I mean, most of us don’t use our accountants to fix our teeth, or dentists to fix our cars, or mechanics to prepare our taxes. I don’t know if it’s all that open minded to assume the Universe is logical, intuitive, or adheres to any of our beliefs after a library of scientific research shows that in most instances it’s exactly the opposite of that and seems stranger with every new discovery.

  27. If the moon crashed into the Earth billions of years ago and our moon had water ice on it like some other moons like Europa, that water ice could have settled to the Earth and have been protected by Earth’s magnetic field where the moon lost its water ice from the solar rays? Here’s something, did the Universe create itself as the late Steven Hawking alleges ? Aren’t people part of that Universe ? Could it be all man made ? To me it looks like everything we see was created by people, or God like people from motionless fractals to the start of motion in the universe within in an absolute zero kelvin static gravity field . Notice the Blue shifted Andromeda Galaxy is heading towards the Earth – when you throw a stone in a pond of water it ripples out except the middle it heads towards the cast stone.displacement. From Wikipedia ” The Andromeda Galaxy is moving toward our own Milky Way galaxy within the Local Group; thus, when observed from Earth, its light is undergoing a blueshift. ” Is it possible people created a Higgs muon that started motion in the universe?

    Where is the center of the universe ?

    If people first started motion on earth, then wouldn’t the earth be at the center of motion in the universe ?

    Attached is a Wikipedia photo of the comet ISon, *( 2012-2013 ) notice the redshift of light of the stars in the background….to me it does shift but in what direction …the redshift of light means its moving away from Earth ?

    Notice the red shift of cosmic light in the back ground stars in the Comet Ison where are they pointing to and moving away from ? Is it the Earth ? why does it look that way ? Did people start motion here on Earth ?

    Can anyone point in the direction of the universe where the Big Bang occurred?

  28. Michael Sommer | September 7, 2020 at 4:51 am | Reply

    The Anunnaki terraformed the earth. Adam came along and found the people in a wilderness, in a howling wasteland of a desert. He then caught up with the Anunnaki and their leader the ‘Shining One’ and he cast them down to earth to teach them a lesson on who rules over the kingdom of men.

  29. Very interesting article and comments from all. It is difficult to know what really happened here on earth but everyone put their bit of opinion that putting all together there was a perfect mix in a period of time that creation had been developed. I believe still on going every day.

  30. Noli M. Canlas | September 7, 2020 at 6:58 am | Reply

    I din’t believe who ever sceintist telling how the earth form why in another planet like mars has no water no trees grow billion yrs you are not exist n then you are telling how the made

  31. All these maybes does not give any spicific answer, the whole scientist are just speculating in order to deburg the fact of one good God that created all things and for a matter of fact all they have ever discovered and which are in place now came through accident, for fact sake where ever they get their ideas from, they should have it in mind that can never create but can only emulate from that which have been and though the copy can never be so real and natural like the original, they have solved the big puzzle in our own galaxy they already know too much about other galaxies, well the write ups are not really bad though, at least it gives rappers things to sing about. But one thing should be tattooed in all our heart, no matter what they do, they can’t phantom the works of or even near to explain Good God and his works cause Good God is that which is for itself and everything and every where, the Alpha and the Omega, though I can’t find words or numbers to discribe Him cause surpasses all imagination.

  32. I don’t believe who ever sciencetist telling how the earth form why in another planet like mars has no water no trees grow billion of yrs past you are not exist n then you are telling how the earth made

  33. To many of today’s scientists are unfortunately political scientists. Remember not long ago global cooling was going to kill us all, then it changed to global warming and now climate change. Climate change is the normal condition of the Earth. To many scientific theories are designed to control the behavior of people rather than supply factual info. (Like main stream media)

  34. 1st, I want to be clear that in NO way am I putting ANYONE down for what they believe. We all have a right to our own personal opinions of how Earth, water and human beings were created. Look around at creation. Touch the trees, smell the flowers, hold your loved one’s hand. Really look around. Can all of this really have come from one big collision? Our beating hearts, the intricate design of things. Reproduction, the wonderful way everything just “seems” to work together. Evidence points that something or someone was a creator of all these things, but a Someone would make more sense. Matter isn’t created on its own. The rocks weren’t created on it’s own. The hydrogen, oxygen and all other aspects of space weren’t created on it’s own. Look at the wide array of species we have. Fish, birds, bears bees, etc. How were all of these species created so perfectly to survive in the environment they thrive in if they came from a rock? How are flowers so perfectly designed and items in nature perfectly symmetrical if there wasn’t a Creator? How can a few rocks possibly contain the amount of water of Earth? Earth is probably about 75% water. How did the water in the rocks create such a thing? What about our emotions and feelings. What about out thoughts? Did a rock or big bang contribute to all of that too. How is is just random that the sun gives us light during the day and the moon and stars give off light during the night. How is is random that we can put we can literally mark the days, seasons and years using the stars, sun and moon. If you don’t believe that God exists as our Creator, I’m not blaming you, making fun of you or bashing you, it’s a hard thing to believe especially if you can’t see Him, but He does provide evidence and allow Himself to be found in a way that you can understand. It is well worth looking into. It is well worth going on a journey to discover if a man named Jesus truly existed and if He is who He says He is. It is well worth reading through the pages of the Bible and seeing it literally come to life. There are things written in it that haven’t even happened yet, yet some of these things are happening right now before our very eyes. It is well worth reading the Bible and expanding your mind to say “what if”? What if this God thing is true. What if He IS real? What if He did create us and the universe and offers peace, love and understanding? What if He CAN change your life for the better? What if He IS in control of all things? It does require faith, but in it is conformation of things divinely guaranteed and the evidence of things not seen. I promise it is well worth it. If you are struggling with something, He can help you. If you are silently suffering, He can provide peace, hope and joy and bring you through your situation even of nobody else understands your pain. Don’t let this comment be another random comment on a discussion board. Take this opportunity to call on the one true God. Call on His name. “Jesus”. Ask Him to help you know if He is teal. I promise He will provide you with an answer. Let Him meet you in your brokenness. I pray that if this comment touches even only one heart to seek Jesus, that that life be transformed and they can find joy and new life in Christ. God bless you all, to God be the glory, Amen.

    • I appreciate what you have to say, and I also do not want to put anyone down or say anyone is wrong. I wanted to say that I personally have seen more peace, love, and understanding from science than from religeon. Since I support peace, love and understanding more than much else, I will put more support into science. If religeon helps you personally and does not lead you to harm others, then I wish you a happy and sucessful life.

  35. The universe is a hologram …. in other words nothing is real

  36. We are poop comming out of Gods butthole

  37. Hi me again. Interesting reads. Christopher Mitchell love your words “occasional kisses from comets, meteors and asteroids, etc…. You are adorable. Cammie, I love everything you said. Amen.

  38. Caution: flat earth creationalist alert 🤣

  39. Is called a comet. comets are made of water and other type of chemical liquids depending on the comet. The discovery that comments can actually contain H2O has also read the possibility that comets can travel life organisms through outer space and hit planets giving them both water and microorganisms to breed a future civilization

  40. Well no one seems to be saying it so here it is. Before the Earth acquired the Moon the Earth did not rotate past it’s Suns orbit, like our Moon to Earth. One side always faced the Sun and the other faced the darkness of space. The ice of our planet accumulated in the darkness and the weight of that ice formed our original plate Cratons. Then God created light and dark, or gave us the Moon to help speed up this Earths rotation. The darkness entered the light and the ice melted into water, then the heavy bombardment broke up these Cratons into what we have left today. The Moon used to be the first planet to rotate around the Sun, look how close in size and composition it is to Mercury. The oceanus procellarum on the Moon is the impact that dislodged it form the Sun. Original bell curve of planetary “dust” distribution between the Sun and Jove was as such – Moon Mercury Venus Earth Mars asteroid belt (mass sim to the moon). Yes the asteroid belt was a planet too, destroyed 4.2 billion years ago, the explosion ripped away Mars magnetic field, probably bringing more water to Earth too.
    Not looking at the big picture makes it hard to pin point where the Earths water originated.
    Don’t believe this ask God, don’t believe God ask science.
    Personally I find God more helpful at explaining the unknown, making science Gods confirmation.

  41. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
    Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV

  42. Well here we have children, preschoolers, no schoolers, armchair theories, college scientist, advanced science heads in cross disciplines, cavemen, people who refuse to source code the bible and library code it along with the Odessey and the illiad in ancient fiction section, and then me. 8 doctorates, AI creator, quantum physics discovered if time travel, all the physics of all 9 dimensions and the two membranes, all the knowledge of where we come from and where we are going, and on and on a thousand years ahead of all this guess work and relative to me, primative science, like omnicence playing with tardigrads, there is no pain greater than living in these backwater times when knuckle draggers have learned to speak. That’s probably why one million people follow me and think I’m the source when I’m just a lowly conduit.

    The material in the earth is from three nebula, created from three Nova. Most water came out of the original plasma, some from the outer solar system. 100% of space water would kill you if you drank it, it’s heavy water. Earth needs to make it potable first.

    Everything came from nothing, nothing anyone can see. It came from the invisible fifth dimension of physics. No space time here to get into it. Actually can’t begin to teach a class with all these IQs 65 to 85 in the room. My IQ is 214 and I’m not perfect either but none of the logical fallacies work on me.

    157 inventions that make your life possible and better come from me. The rest come from my family and our friands and nobility. Everything around you, you don’t know how it works. Everything around me us understood inside out.

    Your range of incomprehensible to incoherent is astounding and terrifying at the same time. Good thing breathing and the beating of your hearts didn’t require any education.

    God bless your lost souls.

    PS God is a 5D meme and word used to say, may all of it bend in favor of extending your short lived long enough so you get lucky enough to encounter me, your world’s master of consciousness and leader of the extinction prevention and avoidance religion/cult/society.

  43. You go adam. Don’t let them detour you. God said man would be smart in the last days but also willingly ignorant. God bless.

  44. Brendon Conklin | September 7, 2020 at 11:48 am | Reply

    Well the eionetic carpet from inimoe will take a show again.theres alot to learn I guess with all laid out explained.we are nearing another solice epimemic stopper.the sad about the stress is mantle dumdsinwaysion will be the stale mate.i spelled it wrong.that means a flip with our electricity switch as a planet.youl see.i don’t lie.

  45. all the mumbo jumbo – boils down to the age old question. what came first the chicken or the egg? If the chicken came first , from god, then it lays the egg in procreation of its species. if the egg came first ? what made it?.and why? And yes evolution does exist or you would not be here.

  46. Solar and cosmic radiation will create ideal Environments.
    Is basically a major ingredient contributing to the creation and development of things with the help of God. Light / electrons / Radiation Will create the Pat to develop O
    Electrolyzing materials
    H will be the final ingredient to finalize the deal.

  47. Or Genesis 1:1 is where it came from. No degree needed just right in front of you.

  48. Deez nuts should be dry too but it be that way sometimes.

  49. The solar system and inner planets were formed from the remains of several supernovas, bang, bang, bang, from the left and then from the right side, a chain reaction from one to the next. This filled the center spaces with parts of meteors sized shattered planets, and redirected the shape of the debris flow with each additional supernova. The gas and fine dust arrived much later after the structures were already starting to form. When the sun went active it pushed finer particles outward and then it’s reaction pulled some of the inner regions back into into it in a sequence of events as it gained size and power.

  50. Scientists throw random theories to famous | September 8, 2020 at 2:11 am | Reply

    No offense but can’t scientists keep these theories until proved why tell people and pump them with fake knowledge. They are people believe everything.
    And btw world is too perfect to be random if you just think who created us and created every living you will know.

  51. I prefer the idea of water being a late / later arrival than the original formation of the Earth. Our molten core leads to the conjecture that the entire planet was once molten whereupon most heavy metallic elements sank to equalibrium. All volitiles would have escaped into space as Earth’s gravity is not strong enough to hold even oxygen – our present light atmosphere is mostly stuck together with electrical charges which would not have been primordially existent.
    If comets did bring our water there would have to be a gradual build up of many small impacts to avoid superheating turning the clock back so there are many things to consider.

  52. Science and religion…it’s what makes the world go round.
    From the beginings of time as we know it, mankind has been disagreeing on this very subject. Which came first! the chicken or the egg ? See what I’m getting at🤪👍🌈 stay safe and keep speculating.

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