The existence of a massive reservoir of ancient diamonds formed before the dawn of human history was recently confirmed by researchers studying the depths of our world, the Independent reports.
According to the newspaper, the diamonds remained undisturbed in the bowels of our planet for over 4.5 billion years before being ejected to the surface via a powerful volcanic eruption in Brazil.
This development has allowed researchers to study the gases encased in the diamonds, which they described as "perfect time capsules", and thereby obtain valuable insights into our planet’s early years, confirming a hypothesis about the existence of an area of the mantle somewhere between the Earth’s core and crust "which had been relatively undisturbed".
"We were able to extract helium gas from 23 super-deep diamonds from the Juina area of Brazil. These showed the characteristic isotopic composition that we would expect from a very ancient reservoir, confirming that the gases are remnants of a time at or even before the moon and Earth collided," said study leader Dr. Suzette Timmerman, from the Australian National University.
The scientists concluded that these precious stones came from the so called "transition zone" located between 410km and 660km below Earth’s surface.
"This means that this unseen reservoir, left over from the Earth’s beginnings, must be in this area or below it," said Timmerman.
While the exact size of this reservoir remains unknown, and it’s unclear if there’s more than one such reservoir in existence, Professor Matthew Jackson from the University of California, Santa Barbara, who was not involved in the research, noted that "this work is an important step towards understanding these reservoirs, and points the way to further research."
The scientists are expected to present their findings at the Goldschmidt conference in Barcelona later this month.