A Quadrillion Tons of Diamonds are Said to Be Lurking Inside the Earth
Turns out that diamonds may not be as rare as we thought. Scientists have found about a quadrillion tons of the precious gems beneath your feet using seismic waves rippling through Earth in their attempt to estimate the composition of our planets layers. However, before you start digging to strike it rich, keep this in mind, this vast amount of gems lie about a hundred miles deep, so unless you have a REALLY big drill, you’re out of luck.
After publishing their results in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, which shows that our planet is packed with about a thousand times more diamonds than previously thought. These geologists used a sensitive array of instruments known as seismometers which helped them monitor the Earth’s seismic trembles. However, over the years, researchers noticed something. These seismic waves were traveling much faster than expected in a region that holds what are known as cratonic roots.
Cratonic rocks are extremely old, forming and stabilizing in the first two billions years of Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history. While we know how old they are, scientists have always had trouble with categorizing exactly what the composition of cratonic roots are and why sound waves can zip through them.
Joshua Garber, postdoctoral researcher at Penn State University and author of the study, said “What we found, in contrast to previous studies, is you can’t just use the main rock type in the mantle—that’s called peridotite—to explain these velocities. You need something that’s a little stiffer.” Their conclusion – a boatload of diamonds. About a quadrillion tons of them. That’s 1 with 15 zeros to put that figure into perspective.
So will we ever be able to access these untold riches? It’s unlikely according to Garber. So far, humans have dug about 7.6 miles deep into the Earth, and thats with considerable effort. However, digging a hole a hundred of miles or more would take a herculean amount of effort and energy to achieve. So i think it’s safe to say that diamonds will continue to be the overprices stones they are for some time.