Research team publishes list of rarest minerals found on the planet

Research team publishes list of rarest minerals found on the planet

Many minerals found on our planet are extremely rare and some of them are found at five or less number of sites across the world. Most of the minerals listed by the research team are rarer than diamonds. Two researchers, who have unveiled that there are more than 5,000 known minerals on earth and majority of them, are much rare to find in comparison to sparkling diamonds.

The research acts as the first system for categorizing rarities in the minerals and has suggested four reasons as to why it is hard to find a specific mineral. Diamonds can be found in more than 700 locations across the globe and large number is diamonds are mined out by miners every year. But such is not the case with minerals. To cite an example, mineral cobaltomenite is found at just four places- Argentina, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Utah.

According to researchers, some minerals can only form under specific conditions and others are formed of rare elements. Fingerite is one of the rarest known minerals on the planet, which has only been found near the summit of the Izalco volcano in El Salvador. Then there is Hazenite, which has been only been found in Mono Lake in the California desert and only in certain days of the year.

It is important to study the minerals as it will help scientists better understand the extreme pressure and temperature conditions present on the planet and the factors involved in the creation of earth’s mineral mix.

Study’s co-author Robert Hazen, a mineralogist from the Carnegie Institution in Washington said, “What is most astonishing about rare minerals is that the process that ultimately forms most of them comes from biology. As life changes near the surface of our planet, it creates new conditions that lead to the creation of thousands of new minerals”.

Researchers said that every mineral has a unique and fascinating story to tell about elements and environments on earth. Hazen added that earth’s mineralogy is unique in the cosmos.

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