Geochemists from UNLV discovered a mineral never seen before in nature. Interestingly enough, they found it entrapped in a diamond formed deep in the Earth’s mantle.
The mineral, calcium silicate perovskite, traveled up to the surface from at least 410 miles deep within the Earth’s lower mantle, the area between the planet’s core and crust. It’s 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. In this case, however, the diamond’s strength preserved the mineral and made the discovery possible.
The newly identified sample likely formed between 660 and 900 km below the planet’s surface, according to UNLV scientists.