Scientists have detected a surprising amount of a rare version of helium, called helium-3, in volcanic rocks on Canada’s Baffin Island, lending support to the theory that the noble gas is leaking from Earth’s core — and has been for millennia.

The research team also detected helium-4 within the rocks.

While helium-4 is common on Earth, helium-3 is more readily found elsewhere in the cosmos, which is why scientists were surprised to detect a larger amount of the element than had been previously reported from the rocks on Baffin Island. A study describing the discovery published recently in the journal Nature.

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