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magnetic north pole

A giant kauri tree grows in Waipoua Forest in Northland, New Zealand. Trees like this one that fell long ago and were preserved for thousands of years are helping researchers discern fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic poles. Kim Westerskov/Getty Images hide caption

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Kim Westerskov/Getty Images

Ancient Trees Show When The Earth's Magnetic Field Last Flipped Out

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The sun sets over Canada's Arctic Archipelago. Earth's magnetic north pole has been moving away from the Canadian Arctic and toward Siberia at a rate of 55 kilometers (34 miles) per year. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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David Goldman/AP