If you are wondering why that picture is so blurry, it’s because it’s magnified so much. The world’s oldest rock was recently found in Australia, and it’s the size of a grain. It’s about as wide as a human hair, and this 4.4 billion year old “rock” is turning out to be quite significant as far as providing clues about how life began on planet earth. Since earth is 4.5 or 4.6 billion years old, this itty-bitty rock has been here for a very, very long time.
You can click over to a very interesting article here on npr to read in geeky grandeur what I’m about to oversimplify. This little pebble supports the idea that there was surface water (maybe even oceans) on earth 4.4 billion years ago, which is something scientists didn’t know for sure before.
One of the many reasons finding this oldest rock is so significant is because it was previously believed that the earth was in existence for a very long time before any life emerged. However, if there was surface water back then, that could all be different. Maybe there was life on this planet back then. Maybe life was started, then destroyed (the earth was a lava-flowing hot mess back then), then started, then destroyed over and over with the presence of water. Then, in one of those times, it didn’t get destroyed. It stayed, and voila.
Of course, all of this is still speculation and such, but still, the discovery of the oldest rock is definitely exciting to people who are studying in this field and people everywhere who are interested in how life began on earth. I can’t wait to learn what comes from all this. With a rock that tiny, I hope it doesn’t get lost or accidentally dropped on the floor and stepped on!
World’s Oldest Rock Is As Wide As A Human Hair