A New Hypothesis Regarding the Ridges and Grooves on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Jupiter’s moon Europa is covered with grooves and ridges. The common hypothesis is that the crust of Europa is composed of thick sheets of ice which float on a liquid water layer deeper in the satellite. As these plates of ice move around, ridges and cracks form.

NASA/Astronomy Picture of the Day

This is a reasonable hypothesis, but it is best in situations like this to keep the “multiple working hypotheses” principle in mind. Here’s my proposal: Europa is a giant cheese ball or it is covered with chip dip. The image of a plate of potato chip dip shown below inspired this alternative hypothesis. Note the ridges, and how they intersect at a variety of angles, just like the ridges and grooves on Europa. I propose that we call these landforms chipsuri ondulate, as the ones on my plate were formed by Lays Ruffles potato chips (literally undulating chips in Romanian).

Grace and Peace

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