Pole Reversal

Historical and scientific records indicate many earth shattering events are long overdue. The “big one”, referring to a mega earthquake in the pacific north west, the Yellowstone super volcano, and apparently – a magnetic pole reversal.

I always believed theories of pole reversal lived only on the pages of books. Discovering this event is not only probable, but has happened in our history on more than one occasion, gave birth to this ponder.


Andrew Biggin from the University of the Netherlands in Utrecht, analyzed rock to determine how they were magnetized at formation. This allowed him to pin point the location of the magnetic pole at the time. His research showed a reversal every 400,00 years or so; the last one taking place about 800,000 years ago. He suggests that a pattern of  weakening in the earth’s magnetic field takes place for around 2000 years prior to the complete reversal. Archaeological evidence indicates our magnetic field was considerably stronger in Roman times.

Pole reversal doesn’t happen overnight; overdue, in earth terms could be hundreds, thousands, or millions of years. Just one more reason to ponder our time on earth. One more reason to embrace each day, not sweating the little stuff.

8 thoughts on “Pole Reversal

  1. Isn’t it funny the way someone else’s blog can take one’s brain to a place the blogger never expected?

    As I was reading this post I found the post interesting but I found my brain going off to that place where one wonders about the human sense of appropriate timing, or something that is “overdue.”

    I don’t know if you have access to a station that plays the U.S. Public Broadcasting series Radio Lab. It is available @ the Apple store as a free podcast. Yesterday as we drove home from a long distance weekend with friends we happened to catch an episode on real live radio. The subject was href=”http://www.radiolab.org/2009/jun/15/”>Stochasticity, or randomness. (The link is to the Radio Lab website and this specific episode.)

    Why is it that randomness — in practice — never looks quite as random as we expect? The likelihood that I could flip a coin and get seven consecutive “tails” seems astronomical — but the likelihood that I could get seven consecutive tails out of 100 attempts isn’t so unreasonable at all.

    The person who wins the lottery two years in a row, or two lottery jackpots in the same day seem as unreal as when The Big One will hit, or whether the poles will reverse seem to contrived to be possible — and yet they happen — randomly.

    Last summer here in the U.S. Midwest we had brutal heat and drought — a lot of friends were crazy about climate change and global warming — yet this spring we have broken all-time rainfall records. Random behavior is, random.

    I wonder if our view of what should happen — and how soon — is fatally flawed by our lifespan — it seems so hard for people to have a view of the universe that isn’t held captive by the fact that at best we might live 100 years +/- and none of us is likely to see what happens 500 or 1000 years from now. I hope I’m not around for some of these cataclysm. But I guess I have no choice. It will happen.

    Thanks for a good “think” this morning.

    A retired photographer looks at life
    Peter Pazucha dot Com
    Life Unscripted on WordPress

  2. A few years ago i had to translate a book that revolved around a polar reversal. It was painfully bad. i mean truly atrocious. the writing was abhorrent and the storytelling utterly awful. The author (whom we shall name, dickhead extraordinaire) had all sorts of cataclysms happening… even the ISS falling out of space! 5 minutes on google researching dickhead extraordinaire’s claims proved telling: nothing will happen when the polls reverse next.

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