Earth's north magnetic pole is moving fairly rapidly -- nearly 40 miles a year -- in the direction of Russia, according to new research, and data points to a region of rapidly shifting magnetic activity on the surface of the Earth's core.
That in turn may be caused by a strange magnetic "plume" originating from deeper inside the core, scientists say. The magnetic north pole is being dragged by these changes from its long-time home in northern Canada.
Magnetic north is the place compass needles actually point to, and is near the geographic North Pole but not quite in the same spot. Though GPS has largely replaced magnetic compasses for navigation, many people still find them useful.