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We all know that earth is the only habitable planet in the observable universe, but it’s not the only thing that makes our home planet unique. It has more than 5,000 known minerals, and out of them, roughly 2,500 are the rarest minerals in terms of both abundance and location.
Rare minerals like cobaltominite, edoylerite and abelsonite make the blue planet unique. These may be present far from our reach, protected in caves or vanish in the first rainfall, as per researchers of a new study on earth’s minerals.
“It's the rare minerals that tell us so much about how Earth differs from the Moon, from Mars, from Mercury, where the same common minerals exist, but it's the rare minerals that make Earth special”, Dr. Robert Hazen, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC, and an author of the study, said in a statement.
As per the study, there could be approximately 2,500 rare minerals on earth which are forming under extreme conditions. If study’s findings are true, the new catalog could help both science and industry.
There are some rare minerals on earth that form only at very specific pressures and temperatures, while a few of them are ephemeral. They decompose in the sunlight, or dissolve in the first rain. Other can be present at locations far from human reach, such at the edges of volcanoes or the deepest parts of the ocean, according to the study researchers.
At the same time, the researchers also suggested that these rare minerals could not be present anywhere else in the universe. It is the thing that proves that our planet’s mineralogy is absolutely unique in the cosmos, the study concluded.