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Edible Earth

The Earth might seem like one hard ball of rock, but it is made up of different layers. Here's a look at the layers that make up our solid Earth.

Inner Core
The center of the Earth is about 6,000 miles below the Earth's surface. It is a solid ball made of mostly just two metals — iron and nickel.

Earth with a section cut out depicting 4 layers from surface to core

Outer Core
This layer is also made of mostly iron and nickel, but here the metals are melted into a very hot liquid. This hot liquid forms a layer that moves around the inner core.

Mantle
This layer is rock-hard, but it actually flows around the outer core, moving about as slowly as your fingernails grow.

Crust
This is the thin, rocky layer we think of as the Earth's surface. Its thickness changes — from 80 kilometers (50 miles) to 5 kilometers (3 miles).

Inner Core
The center of the Earth is about 6,000 miles below the Earth's surface. It is a solid ball made of mostly just two metals — iron and nickel.

Outer Core
This layer is also made of mostly iron and nickel, but here the metals are melted into a very hot liquid. This hot liquid forms a layer that moves around the inner core.

earth with section cutout depicting 4 layers from crust to inner core

Mantle
This layer is rock-hard, but it actually flows around the outer core, moving about as slowly as your fingernails grow.

Crust
This is the thin, rocky layer we think of as the Earth's surface. Its thickness changes — from 80 kilometers (50 miles) to 5 kilometers (3 miles).

cross-section of prepared edible earth

You can make a model of the solid Earth's layers that's good enough to eat!

The Materials

materials needed like a glass bowl, marshmallows, various spoons and scoops, chocolate magic shell, a knife, and Rice Krispies

This is what you need to make one edible Earth. Double or triple the recipe to make more.

  • an adult to help you
  • 13 large marshmallows
  • 1 spice drop
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • bottle of chocolate shell (the sauce that hardens on ice cream)
  • large microwavable bowl
  • serrated knife
  • plate

What To Do

Part 1: Make the Inner and Outer Cores

1

Use a knife to poke a hole in the middle of one marshmallow.

2

Insert the spice drop into the center and try to fold the marshmallow around it so it completely surrounds the spice drop. (The spice drop is the inner core and the marshmallow is the outer core.) Set aside.

pushing gum drop into the center of the marshmallow
pushing and pulling marshmallow to fully cover the gum drop in the center

Part 2: Add the Mantle

3

Find a grown-up to help you. Put the butter and the rest of the marshmallows in the bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Be careful when you take it out — it's hot!

dumping the butter and the marshmallows into the bowl
an adult places the bowl with contents into the microwave
4

Stir with a spatula and microwave for another minute.

stirring the melted marshmallow and butter mixture
5

Stir in cereal and cool for at least 1 minute.

pouring the Rice Krispies into marshmallow butter mixture
stirring the Rice Krispies into the the marshmallow butter mixture
6

Wet your hands with water. Then roll the cereal mixture (or mantle) into a ball around the core. It might help to spread out the mixture, place the core in the center, and fold the mixture around it. Pack it tightly into a ball.

a blob of Rice Krispie mixture with the marshmallow core placed into the center
patting the Rice Krispie mixture into a round ball

Part 3: Create the Crust

7

Put your edible Earth on a plate and chill in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

8

Take it out and pour the chocolate sauce over the ball. Make sure the chocolate covers the whole mantle. Let the ball sit for a minute until the chocolate hardens. You just made a thin, yummy crust!

squirting magic chocolate on the Rice Krispie ball
9

Use a serrated knife to slice your Earth in half. Check out the layers of inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust.

cutting the chocolate covered ball in half with a knife
two kids showing off the edible earth that they made

Now it's time to eat up!

Image Credits:

All Photos and Illustrations: courtesy of AMNH