CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (CBS Local) – According to a new study, there may be a massive treasure hiding beneath the Earth’s surface: a “quadrillion tons” of treasure.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say that a massive amount of diamond may be scattered throughout the planet’s cratonic roots, “the oldest and most immovable sections of rock that lie beneath the center of most continental tectonic plates,” according to the study.
MIT explains that this vast supply of diamonds is likely buried between 90 and 150 miles beneath the Earth’s surface.
“This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral, but on the [geological] scale of things, it’s relatively common,” Ulrich Faul of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences said in a press release. “We can’t get at them, but still, there is much more diamond there than we have ever thought before.”
MIT scientists reportedly made the discovery while examining sound waves traveling through the planet during seismic events.
“Diamond in many ways is special,” Faul explained. “One of its special properties is, the sound velocity in diamond is more than twice as fast as in the dominant mineral in upper mantle rocks, olivine.”
Although the MIT team estimates a quadrillion tons (or 1,000,000,000,000,000) worth of diamonds is in the cratonic roots, it makes up only about one to two percent of the rock’s composition.