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A Sparkly New Discovery In Western Australia

A mining expedition and a researcher in mineralogy have uncovered an interesting discovery.

A Sparkly New Discovery In Western Australia

Image source: popsci.com

A completely new kind of mineral was found located in Lake Cowan in the Western portion of Australia.

It has been named putnisite, and according to researchers from the University of Adelaide in South Australia, its chemical makeup and crystallography are unlike any other mineral currently known.

Scientists are not sure yet what exactly to make of the mineral, or know yet if it has any useful properties.

Most findings and examinations lead to classifying an item and learning more about it. As described on Phys.org, what makes this discovery different than the 4,000 other kinds of known minerals is that this one has a distinctive form and composition.

The crystal like configuration is made up of an unusual assembly of materials including quartz and Cr silicate, a formless substance. It has a rare combination of elements, including calcium, strontium, chromium, carbon, sulphur, oxygen and hydrogen.

The unearthed material is luminous and can be purple to pink or grayish in appearance, and the small crystals can be found on volcanic rock.

From the head researcher on the project, Dr. Peter Elliott:

“Nature seems to be far cleverer at dreaming up new chemicals than any researcher in a laboratory.”

Elliott, who helped in the analysis of the mineral, has also discovered 7 other minerals in various locations throughout Australia. This newest finding was given its name after mineralogists Andrew and Christine Putnis.

A report of the mineral discovery can be seen in the February, 2014 issue of Mineralogical Magazine.

Reminding us just how vast and spectacular the Earth is, the newly appearing putnisite mineral is assuredly one out of many still uncovered wonders.

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