The total amount of diamonds in the earth’s interior has exceeded 10 billion tons. Why is there no one mining them?

This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown

When it comes to diamonds, many people can’t help but think of diamond rings, which need to be polished slowly and will show a very bright light. Diamond is known as the “king of gems” by human beings. It is the most expensive variety among all gems. In addition to its charm, it is also closely related to its texture. Since ancient times, diamond has always been regarded as a symbol of luxury by human beings. Diamond is indestructible and invincible. It is a huge culture that human beings will always pursue.

There are more than tens of millions of tons of diamonds in the earth. The deeper the diamond is, the bigger the diamond is

1. Magma plays an important role in the formation of diamonds

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have made an in-depth analysis of the deep structure of the earth’s interior, and found that the total amount of diamonds in the earth’s interior is much more than we thought. After the chemical reaction between the mantle liquid and the mantle silicalite, under certain conditions, the pH value will decrease, which will make the diamond have the reaction of birth. There is no oxygen involved in the whole process, which greatly reduces the difficulty of diamond formation.

The outer structure of diamond is transparent crystal, wrapped with layers of graphite. With the crustal movement, volcanoes continue to erupt violently. The deeper the earth is, the easier it is to produce diamonds. So is the magma from volcano really the matrix of diamond? Actually, it’s not. It’s just a carrier of diamonds. It belongs to a hub conveyor belt.

Through chemical model experiments, scientists believe that in the extreme liquid environment, harmful gas carbon dioxide plays an important role in the process of flow. They participate in the whole chemical reaction process of fossil formation, and eventually gradually form diamonds. If diamonds are moving from one rock layer to another, the more types of rocks there are, the greater the chance of diamond formation. For example, the depth of the earth’s interior reaches 200 km. Under the conditions of pressure of 5 * 103 PA and temperature of about 1500 ℃, the pure carbon rock will gradually crystallize and form natural diamonds.

2. Why are there tens of billions of tons of diamonds inside the earth?

In many institutions of higher learning and well-known research institutes such as MIT, when using seismic wave measuring equipment to measure the sound velocity of the earth’s crust, researchers predict that the number of diamonds in the earth’s interior exceeds 10 billion tons. In other words, countless diamonds will be buried in the deep layer of thick soil under our feet, but we haven’t noticed it. The news that there are a large number of diamonds in the earth’s interior spread like wildfire. Some netizens questioned this: the conditions for the formation of diamonds are very harsh. They not only need a certain high temperature, but also need a certain pressure. How do millions of tons of diamonds form underground? Why so many? “

The main component of diamonds is carbon. Carbon is a very common element in the earth, but it is not very common in diamonds. Among the natural minerals, the hardness of diamond is the highest. At the same time, it is also very “fragile”. Once impacted by external force, the diamond will instantly “break to pieces”. In addition to tetrahedron and rhombic dodecahedron, most diamonds are pure and colorless.

The picture shows the diamond in the rock

Earlier, we mentioned that the formation of diamonds is related to magma, and there are a lot of magma in the earth’s internal structure, which is why there are so many diamonds. For example, if magma is the mother conveyor belt, it will transport diamonds to various places, just like we travel by train, and the train will send us to different destinations, fire Cars are conveyor belts.

Due to different pressures, the number of diamonds formed in different rock layers is also different, and the deeper the earth’s interior is, the more diamonds there will be. The moment a volcano erupts, magma transports the diamond to the surface of the earth. After the lava cools, it becomes the diamond we see now.


South Africa produces the most diamonds in the world, known as the “Rainbow” country

If someone asks which country is rich in diamonds the most in the world? The answer must be “South Africa.”. At the southernmost tip of the African continent, it is located in the southern hemisphere and enjoys the reputation of “Rainbow country”. In the world, South Africa is rich in diamonds with the best texture. It is made of diamond after fine grinding. “Diamond” is the most primitive ore, but also pure natural ore, it has the strongest luster in nature transparent minerals, and strong dispersion, higher than any natural colorless transparent gem.

All diamonds in South Africa are transported to the ground by volcanic eruption. The hardness of this kind of diamond is also the highest of all diamonds. Many geological exploration experts will come to South Africa, so it has become the unique and largest diamond producing area in the world. Therefore, many investors are interested in South Africa’s mines. The stratum magma of South Africa is like a person’s “throat”. It is the only entrance and exit. Due to its special geographical structure, South Africa has become a real diamond kingdom.

The picture shows the South African diamond mine kulinan

There are so many diamonds in the interior of the earth, why no one mines them?

At present, the known diamond deposits in the world are mainly divided into “open pit mine, primary mine, placer mine and seabed mining” If the magma brings the diamonds to the coast, people will explore the bottom of the sea, screen the mined ores one by one, and pick out the diamonds by category. Of course, not any enterprise will mine diamonds casually. The establishment of mineral exploration requires a high cost. Some commercial companies will conduct exploration before mining to measure whether there will be a large amount of ore reserves here. Of course, they will also survey the grade and quantity of diamonds in the mine in advance.

In general, the more diamonds are stored and the higher the grade, the easier it is to be explored first. However, some diamond mines with small reserves will be abandoned directly by investors. Some netizens can’t help asking: “there are so many diamonds in the earth, why no one can easily mine them?”

The picture shows China’s “deep sea warrior”


Deep mantle mining is difficult, costly and dangerous

The amount of diamond deposits on the earth’s surface is limited, but even so, no one is willing to mine the diamonds in the earth’s interior. One of the important reasons is related to the exploitation of mantle. It is difficult to mine the mantle with high risk coefficient and high investment cost. So how deep is the mantle inside the earth? For example, the ocean is the cradle of life. If all the oceans on the earth’s surface are swallowed up by the earth’s interior, the first thing that flows into the earth is the mantle, and the mantle can hold three times the previous capacity of sea water. The mantle seems to be a bottomless hole that has been “sucked in”. It’s nonsense to successfully exploit the mantle.

Even if it can be mined, its cost is far greater than the cost of diamonds. In addition, the formation of diamonds in the mantle requires extremely high temperature. The environment of the mantle layer is beyond our imagination. The temperature here is even tens or even hundreds of times higher than that of volcanic eruption. Super high temperature and pressure will melt the metal tools for exploration instantly, which is one of the main reasons why human beings are unable to mine the diamond deposits in the mantle layer.

The picture shows the internal structure of the earth


If things go to extremes, they will turn to the opposite. Once they are successfully mined, the more the quantity is, the less valuable it will be

In nature, many things have profoundly demonstrated the truth of “complement each other, things will go against the extreme”. Everything has two aspects, in the process of transformation there will be qualitative change. In other words, diamonds used to be rare and expensive. A carat of diamonds can be sold to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands. However, with the increase of the number of diamonds mined in the earth, once the number of diamonds reaches a certain level, its value will be reduced and become cheap.

Before mining the deep structure of the earth’s interior, there are only a few diamond deposits in the world, and their position in the world is immeasurable. With the gradual development of technology, once mining the diamond deposits of the earth’s interior structure is successful, it is not necessarily a good thing for businessmen, but also competitive. Even if the cost is high, more diamonds will become cheap, which is why no one is willing to mine them.


Influenced by traditional feudal thoughts, I don’t want to touch another civilized world underground

All countries in the world have their own religious beliefs, especially the rich businessmen, who believe in some obsessions. Affected by this traditional feudal thought, they are not willing to easily violate the principles of belief and exploit the mantle. For example, there is an old saying in China that when people die, they should be buried in thick soil and rest in peace. If we exploit the diamond deposits in the mantle for some benefits, we will encounter the taboo of digging ancestral graves. Therefore, no one is willing to do this kind of thing, let alone touch the “evil” things in the underground or other civilized world. Of course, this is just a superstition.

Is the tens of billions of diamonds in the interior of the earth good or bad for mankind?

Personally, it is not a good thing for human beings that there are a lot of diamonds in the earth. Why are existing diamonds so expensive? Because it is difficult to find diamond deposits, the mining cost is high, and secondly, the texture of diamond is very stable and can be preserved forever, so it has become the most expensive material in the world.

Once there are thousands of trillions of diamonds in the earth’s internal structure, volcanic eruptions will take place in the next few decades or hundreds of years, and these buried diamonds will continue to be transported to the earth’s surface. With countless diamonds, there will be disputes, and there will be no longer a harmonious state between countries and individuals.

Therefore, in general, the countless diamonds buried in the earth’s interior should not be “disturbed” by us. Its existence is born with the development of the natural environment. Buried in the mantle is also a certain truth given by nature. As human beings, we should not over exploit greedily, let alone let the most precious things become worthless and cheap things.

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