A quadrillion tons of diamond. Straight down

Scientists just found £150,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of diamonds in the ground

Scientists just found £150,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of diamonds in the ground

The deepest drill ever made by humanity is the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russian Federation, which took 20 years to reach a depth of 12km (7.5 miles) before being abandoned with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Despite the discovery of the priceless haul, it will be impossible to retrieve the valuable rocks, since there is no drill powerful enough to reach that depth.

The scientists reckon there's a quadrillion tonnes of diamond buried in the "cratonic roots" in continents.

'This shows that diamond is not perhaps this exotic mineral, but on the [geological] scale of things, it's relatively common, ' says Ulrich Faul, a research scientist in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.

Unfortunately for diamond hunters, the minerals are buried more than 160km (100 miles) beneath the Earth's surface - far deeper than any human drills have ever reached.

The ultradeep reserve may be dispersed inside cratonic roots, which are the most settled and most enthusiastic portions of rock that exist underneath the focal point of the most territory structural plates.

Earth's interior is dark, but filled with diamonds. For the past few decades, agencies such as the United States Geological Survey have kept global records of seismic activity - essentially, sound waves traveling through the Earth that are triggered by earthquakes, tsunamis, explosions, and other ground-shaking sources.

This method has previously been used to figure out the rocks that make up the Earth's crust and parts of the upper mantle, also known as the lithosphere.

Using sound waves, scientists uncovered a cache of diamonds distributed deep below the Earth's surface, and it amounts to over a quadrillion tons of the precious mineral. Seismic collectors around the world get sound waves from these sources, at various rates and powers, which seismologists will study to find out when the quake started, and where.

However, the discrepancy was too much and the coolness of the rock did not adequately account for the significant uptake in wave speed.

"We went through all the different possibilities, from every angle, and this is the only one that's left as a reasonable explanation", Faul said.

After conducting a series of experiments in the lab where they sent sound waves through different rocks, the researchers found that only rock containing 1-2% diamond, among other components, could produce the velocities recorded in the craton roots.

"Diamond in many ways is special", Dr Faul said.

Called cratons, they are cooler and less dense than the surrounding mantle.

Only one matched what they were seeing from the Earth's core. This is how they preserve the oldest rocks. So we found that you just need one to two percent diamond for cratons to be stable and not sink'.

Diamonds are formed under extremely high-temperature and high-pressure conditions found below Earth's crust.

These atoms naturally copy the crystal structure of organic diamond, which is also made up of carbon atoms.

They then funnel hydrogen and methane gas heat to 3,000°C (5,400°F) into the chamber to create a highly charged gas known as plasma.