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Dr Chris MacLeod, from Cardiff University, said the Earth's crust appeared to be completely missing in an area thousands of kilometres across.
He said it was an "open wound on the surface of the Earth", where the oceanic crust, usually 6-7km thick (3.7-4.3 miles), was simply not there.
"Effectively it's a huge rupture - one side is being pulled away from the other. It's created a rupture so big it's actually pulled the entire crust away.