A quadrillion tons of diamonds lie deep beneath the Earth's surface

By CNN Staff

Published August 9, 2018

Diamonds in the Earth are much more common than we thought. About 1,000 times more common, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


A new study by an interdisciplinary team of researchers used seismic technology (the same kind used to measure earthquakes) to estimate that a quadrillion tons of diamonds lie deep below the Earth's surface.


Translation: 1,000,000,000,000,000 --- or one thousand times more than one trillion.


Don't expect a massive diamond rush, though. The deposits sit some 90 to 150 miles below the Earth's surface. That's deeper than current mining machinery allows.


How diamonds are formed


Diamonds are formed via extreme pressure and extreme heat, so the weight from all the rock above provides ideal conditions for their formation deep in the Earth's mantle.

Donald Bowers/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for Sotheby's

The diamonds that end up in necklaces and rings come closer to Earth's surface, usually through volcanic eruptions.