Every 200,000 years or so, the Earth’s magnetic poles flip. According to models of the Earth’s core, the process for north to become south and vice versa should take around 4-5,000 years. In 1995 however, scientists found a preserved lava flow at Steens Mountain in Oregon, USA that indicated an extremely accelerated magnetic field flip. By studying the magnetic crystals of the lava, the team found an unusual magnetic pattern that suggested the poles were shifting six degrees a day, over 10,000 times faster than normal. Although many scientists challenged these findings, there is now a new published study that suggest a second north-pole flip occurred around 15 million years ago. Scott Bogue of Occidental College and colleague Jonathan Glen of the US Geological Survey discovered ancient lava rock in Battle Mountain, Nevada that indicated Earth’s magnetic field moved by 53 degrees in a single year, and reversed completely in a period of only four years. The last stable polar reversal was about 780,000 years ago, which may indicate that Earth is overdue for another one. While the facts about pole reversals remain a mystery, many scientists believe they are somehow related to the convective movements of liquid iron in the Earth’s outer core.