The in vitro corrosion mechanism of the biodegradable cast Mg–10% Ca binary alloy in Hanks' solution was evaluated through transmission electron microscopy observations. The corrosion behavior depends strongly on the microstructural peculiarity of Mg2Ca phase surrounding the island-like primary Mg phase and the fast corrosion induced by the interdiffusion of O and Ca via the Mg2Ca phase of lamellar structure. At the corrosion front, we found that a nanosized crack-like pathway was formed along the interface between the Mg2Ca phase and the primary Mg phase. Through the crack-like pathway, O and Ca are atomically exchanged each other and then the corroded Mg2Ca phase was transformed to Mg oxides. The in vitro corrosion by the exchange of Ca and O at the nanosized pathway led to the rapid bulk corrosion in the Mg–Ca alloys.