Below the Earth’s surface there is a layer known as the mantle, a mostly solid zone of the planet’s interior that is notoriously difficult to understand because humans have only been able to dig around seven miles deep. This is what makes a newly discovered diamond mined from 410 miles below the surface in Botswana so rare and significant: it contains inclusions (materials trapped inside the mineral during formation) from the mantle which suggest that the planet has a soggy layer that holds more than an ocean’s worth of water. Scientists attribute this to the diamond’s ringwoodite, a mineral commonly found in the transition zone that separates the upper and lower mantle. Its presence alongside other minerals suggests “water may exist deeper into the Earth than scientists previously believed, which could further our understanding of plate tectonics and the mysterious deep water cycle.” Learn more at Popular Science.
Image courtesy of Tingting Gu