World’s rarest minerals: for some total supply less than sugar cube

16th February 2016

In two recently-published papers Dr. Robert Hazen and colleagues estimated that more than 1,500 mineral species remain undiscovered. And, of the roughly 5,000 known mineral species, about 8% (406) contain carbon elements.

In a mineral, the presence of carbon — the stuff of plant and animal life — is the multi-billion year mash-up result of life meeting rock.

An estimated 145 carbon-bearing minerals are unknown to science, and in December, 2015 the Deep Carbon Observatory created a public challenge to find them all by 2019.

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Recently Discovered Minerals