Strange rock containing 30,000 diamonds baffles scientists
© Getty Images Strange rock containing 30,000 diamonds baffles scientists

When Russian miners pulled a strange red and green stone out of the ground, they knew it was different to the thousands of tons of ore they process every day. 

In fact, what at Alrosa ‘s Udachnaya diamond mine had unearthed was a 30mm rock that contained 30,000 diamonds – a conentration 1m times higher than normal. 

However, despite the rare find the company donated the rock to the Russian Academy of Sciences, as the diamonds are so that they cannot be used as gems. 

After scanning the rock X-rays, scientists found that the diamonds inside measure just 1mm and are octahedral in shape – similar to two pyramids stuck together at the base. The red and green colouring comes from larger crystals of garnet, olivine and pyroxene. 

“The exciting thing for me is there are 30,000 itty-bitty, perfect octahedrons, and not big diamond,” said Larry Taylor, a geologist at the University of Tennessee, who presented the findings at the American Geophysical Union ‘s annual meeting. “It’s like they formed instantaneously. This rock is a strange indeed.”

Scientists are excited at the finding as they hope it will shed further light on how diamonds are made. They know diamonds are crystals of pure carbon that form under crushing pressures and intense heat, mostly formed in the Earth’s mantle, the layer beneath the crust or surface layer, at a of about 150km. However, certain processes in their creation remain a

“The [chemical] in which diamonds occur still remain an enigma,” Mr Taylor Science, which first reported the