2.5 Billion-Years Old Ruby Holds Ancient Traces of Life

by Shelby Scott

Diamonds are supposedly a girl’s best friend. However, rubies have given us insight as to the early machinations of living organisms eons ago. Additionally, diamonds are no doubt gorgeous and desirable. But recently, a research team discovered an ancient 2.5-billion-year-old ruby and we are definitely nerding out. Although not generally considered rare, the discovery of this particular gemstone holds traces of early life.

More specifically, what makes the ruby noteworthy is not so much the appearance or condition of the stone. Rather, its importance comes from what’s contained inside. According to SciTechDaily, a research team based in Greenland located this particular ruby which contains graphite. Now, you may be thinking of pencils. Frankly no, the ancient ruby did not lead to the formation of your favorite No. 2 pencils.

However, the graphite formation within the ruby does point to the existence of carbon, necessary for the creation of the former element. Additionally, the outlet states that analysis of this particular strand of carbon is evidential of early life.

Of the discovery, research team leader, Chris Yakymchuk, said, “The graphite inside this ruby is really unique. It’s the first time we’ve seen evidence of ancient life in ruby-bearing rocks.”

While personally, I had hoped for intriguing proof of crazy ancient animals and species, the scientist shared that the “early life” most likely points to the existence of the world’s earliest living organisms: “most like dead microorganisms such as cyanobacteria.”

Overall, the team of researchers found that the graphite links the ruby to ancient life. However, more widely applied, the element is more than likely responsible for the existence of the ancient gemstone at all.

Ancient ‘Life-Giving’ Facility Uncovered in Israel

The ruby’s discovery in Greenland marks an important milestone for researchers within that particular region. However, one continent over and a bit further south, archaeologists uncovered another quite important discovery south of Tel Aviv-Yafo.

Though not nearly as ancient or mysterious as the Greenland ruby, the Israeli-based team located an ancient winemaking facility. The team estimated the facility at around 1,500 years old. The ancient facility consisted of five wine presses, warehouses, and kilns, not to mention collections of jars and fragments.

While the facility of itself is impressive, the researchers believe the location had capabilities of producing up to 520,000 gallons of wine annually. Talk about life-giving.

Further, the facility seemed responsible primarily for the creation of various white wines, the best in my opinion. These would have then been distributed to locations across the Mediterranean, speaking to the full capabilities of the Israeli-based facility.

However, while we may joke about it now, the wine-making facility was more crucial than initially believed. Excavation director Jon Seligman said wine was more potable than water, meaning it was actually safer to consume because “the water was often contaminated.”