OK, so it’s not Vibranium, but discovering potentially three new minerals in a meteorite found in Somalia is pretty exciting! I wonder what new substances we’ll find as we further explore space, and what uses we’ll discover for them?
The meteorite, the ninth largest recorded at over 2 metres wide, was unearthed in Somalia in 2020, although local camel herders say it was well known to them for generations and named Nightfall in their songs and poems.
Dr Chris Herd, a professor in the department of earth and atmospheric sciences and the curator of the collection, said that while he was classifying the rock he noticed “unusual” minerals. Herd asked Andrew Locock, the head of the university’s electron microprobe laboratory, to investigate.
Similar minerals had been synthetically created in a lab in the 1980s but never recorded as appearing in nature, Herd said, adding that these new minerals could help understand how “nature’s laboratory” works and may have as yet unknown real-world uses. A third potentially new mineral is being analysed.