Peering into deep plate tectonics (IMAGE) Tokyo Institute of Technology Caption Seismic waves generated by earthquakes are aggregated to identify the fastest velocity (i.e. coldest, blue) and slowest velocity (i.e. hottest, red) regions of the mantle. Comparing results consistent between different data and techniques reveals that slabs of cold oceanic mantle bedrock, tectonic plates, pierce the mantle at subduction zones and plunge into the deepest mantle. This former oceanic rock is heated near the molten core-mantle boundary and rises back to the surface much like a lava lamp. Credit Grace Shephard Usage Restrictions Credit must be given to the creator. Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted. License CC BY-NC Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.