by Rachel Oakley in New Eco on Thursday 17 April 2014

This incredible crystal has been confirmed as the oldest fragment of Earth’s crust. Aged at 4.4 billion years, this zircon was found in sandstone in the Jack Hills region of Western Australia. Scientists studied its uranium and lead atoms, and a decaying process over time allows scientists to arrive at the 4.4 billion number. But you can forget about scientists grabbing this zircon and showing it off to their friends – this piece measures just 200 by 400 microns, ‘about twice the diameter of a human hair’.

Via The Sydney Morning Herald