You are here: Earth > LET'S EXPLORE The Earth > What's inside the Earth?

What's inside the Earth?

In this diagram, we can see what each layer inside the Earth might look like if we could empty it outThe Earth has a thin rocky shell on the outside called the crust. Beneath the crust lie several layers. All of them are extremely hot. The first layer, the mantle, is made of rocks so hot they have partly melted. Below the mantle is the outer core. This is made of liquid metal. The inner core, at the Earth’s centre, is a solid ball of iron.

The Earth with a piece cut away so we can see the layers inside


The crust beneath the oceans is a thin layer of volcanic rock. It is no more than 10 kilometres (6 miles) thick. The crust beneath the continents is thicker. This is up to 70 kilometres thick (40 miles).

The crust is thinner in proportion to the whole Earth than the skin on an apple.

Q-files now has new sections specially written for younger readers. They are: Living world, Earth, Science, Human body, Prehistoric life, Space, History, Geography and Technology.

Find the answer