Earth is missing a huge part of its crust. Now we may know why.

Although its nuances, triggers, and shutdown mechanisms continue to be debated, the idea that Earth was a giant frigid “snowball” around 700 million years ago is being increasingly accepted by the scientific community. And similar to what we see in Antarctica today, many of Snowball Earth’s glaciers would have been powerful agents of erosion: The overlying pressure of the ice creates wet bases that can move sediment, despite the extremely low temperatures at the surface.

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