Scientists have discovered a mineral that has never been found in nature before

The International Mineralogical Association has officially added the "impossible Wedderburn stone" to the list of registered minerals. But this does not mean that there is at least one such sample on Earth - the only pebble of this type available to scientists has definitely come from space. This meteorite was found back in 1951, but immediately baffled geologists, because studies have shown that it simply cannot exist in nature.

The Wedderburn Meteorite (Australia) is a 210 gram black and red stone. It is an extremely rare form of iron carbide with admixtures of gold, as well as minor traces of kamacite, schreibersite, tenite and troilite. What makes it unique is that scientists have known this form of iron carbide for a long time - it is formed when iron is smelted. But not in a natural way, and for a long time it was believed that this was impossible in principle.

The mineral was named "edscotite" after meteorite expert and cosmochemist Edward Scott of the University of Hawaii. Today, thanks to the latest research from Caltech mineralogist Chi Ma and UCLA geophysicist Alan Rubin, we know for sure that edscotite is naturally occurring. It just flew in from the depths of space, since it cannot appear on Earth under natural conditions.

But what if we imagine an exoplanet, with a hot metal core, which was isolated from the outside world by a reliable shell? There was a rapid cataclysm on it, like the impact of a super-large asteroid, which literally split the exoplanet into pieces. And fragments of its core, not having time to transform, flew through space, and one eventually fell near Wedderburn. Considering that no more than 6, 000 types of minerals have been found on Earth, and 500-600 thousand species have been synthesized under laboratory conditions that have the right to exist in the Universe, this seems very likely.