Andes Mountains Jumped Like a Cork

After millions of years of slowly being squeezed, warped, and folded higher, the central Andes suddenly shot toward the stars in a geological blink of the eye, according to a new study.

The growth spurt came after chunks of dense, deep rock that anchored the South American mountain range suddenly plopped deeper into the mantle, freeing the buoyant crust to pop up like a cork unleashed from a lead weight.