FIELD OF NIGHTMARES - The world’s magnetic field is about to FLIP and it could cause CHAOS, scientists claim

Natural phenomenon could hit at any time and no-one knows what it will do to human society.

EARTH’S s magnetic field is about to flip and it will cause CHAOS across the planet, a scientist has claimed.

Researchers have spotted an “anomaly”beneath South Africa which could indicate this rare natural phenomenon is about to hit Earth for the first time in 786,000 years.

This Nasa illustration depicts Earth’s magnetic field
We don’t know what the effects on Earth will be, but it’s believed the flip could cause electricity grids to go haywire – which poses the risk of causing economic chaos around the world.

Some experts have even linked pole reversals to mass extinctions, because the reversal could cause dangerous particles to rain down on the planet.

Professor John Tardun, a professor of geophysics at the University of Rochester, said: “There’s a patch of reversed polarity beneath southern Africa at the core-mantle boundary where the liquid iron outer core meets the slightly stiffer part of the Earth’s interior.

"In this area, the polarity of the field is opposite to the average global magnetic field. If we were able to use a compass deep under southern Africa, we would see that in this unusual patch north actually points south.

"We speculate that these reversed core patches grow rapidly and then wane more slowly. Occasionally one patch may grow large enough to dominate the magnetic field of the Southern Hemisphere – and the poles reverse."

What would happen if Earth's magnetic field flips?

  • Mass extinction: Some experts believe changes to the magnetic field would allow dangerous particles to rain down on Earth. They say the magnetic field disappears entirely during a flip, leaving us vulnerable. However, this theory proved controversial and several scientists have said mass extinctions are unlikely to be caused by the flip.
  • The atmosphere could disapppear: Thankfully, this scenario is highly unlikely. However, it is believed that Mars' atmosphere was stripped by the solar wind because is does not have a strong magnetic field.
  • The economy could collapse:The flip could bring down power grids across the world, potentially crashing stock markets and stopping economies from working properly.

It is believed the magnetic field flip could take place in the next 2,000 years.

However, Nasa said it was unlikely to cause too much mayhem,

It wrote: "The science shows that magnetic pole reversal is – in terms of geologic time scales – a common occurrence that happens gradually over millennia.

"While the conditions that cause polarity reversals are not entirely predictable – the north pole’s movement could subtly change direction, for instance – there is nothing in the millions of years of geologic record to suggest that any of the doomsday scenarios connected to a pole reversal should be taken seriously."
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