Study links Life on Earth to Existence of Rare Minerals

Study links Life on Earth to Existence of Rare Minerals

Earth is the only known planet in the universe that supports life, and it makes the blue planet different from other planets and cosmic objects. In fact, this uniqueness of earth has been linked to some rare minerals.

A study on earth’s minerals discovered that the only habitable planet has more than 2,500 rare minerals that differentiate it from other cosmic objects. For the study, a team of two research scientists, Robert Hazen and Jesse Ausubel, categorizes most singular minerals of earth, like the Sardinian ichnusaite and amosite.

According to the team, it found that there’s a link between earth’s rare minerals and its ability to support life. “Life depends on minerals. Life could not have begun without some of the chemical properties that minerals provided at Earth's beginning”, explained Hazen, executive director of the Deep Carbon Observatory.

The study concluded that a planet’s ability to sustain life depends of number of rare materials it has. It also suggested that planets like Mars and Mercury do not have rare materials because they are not able to support life.

Hazen’s the Deep Carbon Observatory inspects presence of carbon on earth. According to the researcher, rovers and spacecraft have explored surface of Mars and the moon, but they didn’t find anything surprising there. They didn’t find hint of any rare materials there because these space bodies don’t sustain life, Hazen continued.

Study’s second researcher Ausubel from New York City's Rockefeller University has supported Hazen’s theory. The rare minerals on earth have an association between the planet’s ability to support life, said Ausubel. A planet with poor ecologically can never have rare kinds of minerals, the researcher added.

According to the study, none of the rare materials found on earth are not available in more than five locations, which makes them very rare.


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