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Study: Some Rare Diamonds Contain Once-Living Creatures

Two different types of rare diamonds contain the recycling of once-living organisms
Last Diamond Unearthed report
Credit: Fancy Color Research Foundation

A new study, published in Scientific Reports and quoted by Science Alert, has found that some rare diamonds contain “once-living organisms”.


The research team, led by Australia-based Curtin University geologist Luc Doucet, found that two different types of rare diamonds contain the recycling of once-living organisms over 400 kilometers below the surface of Earth.


diamond rocks earth research
Credit: Sementer /


The two rare types of diamonds are oceanic diamonds, found in oceanic rocks, and super-deep continental diamonds, formed between 300 and 1,000 kilometers below the surface of Earth. In the new research, Luc Doucet’s team found that the cores of super-deep continental diamonds have a δ13C composition (delta carbon thirteen) – just like oceanic diamonds – so that they, too, contain the remains of once-living creatures.


According to Doucet, “Bringing new meaning to the old trash to treasure adage, this research discovered that Earth’s engine actually turns organic carbon into diamonds many hundreds of kilometers below the surface. Ballooning rocks from Earth’s deeper mantle, called mantle plumes, then carry the diamonds back up to Earth’s surface via volcanic eruptions for humans to enjoy as sought-after gemstones.”


Rough Diamond
Credit: Erwin Niemand


However, the team wasn’t sure why these deep, rare diamonds found deeper than the lithosphere (the rocky outer part of the Earth) are using this recycled organic carbon. 


According to Curtin University geologist Zheng-Xiang Li, “this might have something to do with the physical-chemical environment there. It is not uncommon for a new scientific discovery to raise more questions that require further investigation.”


Check out the full research here

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