Scientists have found a new mineral that was never seen before on Earth. The mineral is found in a diamond that is mined from below the Earth’s surface in Botswana in the Orapa mine which is the world’s largest diamond mine by area. In 1987, the diamond was sold by a dealer without knowing what it was and it changed hands until it came into the sight of geologists at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Scientists have named the mineral Davemaoite. The mineral has been named after Chinese-American geologist Ho-Kwang (Dave) Mao for his studies on such types of high-pressure elements which are only found between Earth’s crust and its core.
Formation of the mineral– Davemaoite
The mineral might have been formed due to the high pressure and high-temperature conditions in the lower mantle of the earth. When some research and chemical analysis was done on that mineral, it showed the presence of radioactive isotopes of different elements like potassium, uranium, and thorium which are not found in the upper mantle.
Davemaoite is only the second high-pressure silicate that is ever seen on Earth, the other was found inside a meteorite. Davemaoite is the first of its kind specimen of calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3) formed under high pressure on Earth.
The mineral formed hundreds of miles beneath Earth’s surface. The mineral traveled from at least 660 kilometers deep within the Earth’s lower mantle to come within the reach of humans. The lower mantle minerals fall apart most of the time before they reach the surface of the Earth, but this mineral was entrapped in a diamond which made this mineral reach Earth’s surface safely. This is the first time that lower mantle minerals have ever been observed in nature because they usually fall apart before they reach the Earth’s surface.
New Era begins after the discovery of the mineral !!
Oliver Tschauner who is a mineralogist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas said that the discovery of this mineral came as a surprise.
He said that the discovery of this mineral was unexpected, it was mined years ago in 1987, but came to the sight of scientists many years later.
Research also predicts that Earth might have more than 1,000 different minerals which are not yet discovered. But this new mineral is one that scientists did not expect to be present on earth.
The discovery of this mineral has started a new era of research. After finding this mineral scientists know what’s possible so now they might lookout for lower mantle minerals that could have always existed but are yet to discover.
Scientists say Alien worlds may hold minerals like this that are not present on our earth, the minerals that never existed on earth and are never going to exist on earth. So, now the way of thinking of scientists might have changed. They may now be looking to explore the earth as much as they can and discover many things which are unimaginable by us humans. And who knows they might discover many unexpected things.