Hit by a meteorite, the German town contained 72,000 tons of diamonds

Estimated scientists in Nördlingen town and the surrounding area contain approximately 72,000 tons of diamonds.

All buildings in the town of Nördlingen in the southern state of Bavaria have attached millions of microscopic diamonds, resulting after the meteor hit the area 15 million years ago.

The collision created the Ries crater , a huge depression that spread over 14km across the countryside, now home to the town of Nördlingen. It also produces suevite, a type of macadam consisting of many debris with sharp edges, which can contain glass, crystal and diamond, which is very common in areas of this type of collision.

When meteors hit the Earth, the impact force caused gneiss and graphite in the region to form diamonds due to giant pressure of up to 60 gigapascal.

Picture 1 of Hit by a meteorite, the German town contained 72,000 tons of diamonds

Picture 1 of Hit by a meteorite, the German town contained 72,000 tons of diamonds


The town of Nördlingen is built from diamonds.(Photo: Smithsonian Magazine).

"We think that the falling meteorite is a stone body weighing about three billion tons. This meteorite is about the size of the town of Nördlingen with a kilometer in diameter," said Gisela Pösges, geologist and deputy director Bao. Ries Crater museum in Nördlingen, said.

Until 898, the first settlers began living here. In the Middle Ages, they built walls to protect the town. To build each building, masons must use the nearest material they can find, which are suevite stones.

"Our St. Georgs Church is built from suevite stone and contains about 5,000 carats of diamonds. But they are very small, the largest is only 0.3mm in diameter and is of no economic value. On the scientific side and you can observe diamonds under a microscope , " Pösges said.

In the process of building the town, people do not realize that the rocks they are exploiting to build the building are vestiges of meteorites. For centuries, local residents believed that the huge depression was a volcano until the 1960s, geologist Eugene Shoemaker officially confirmed the crater formed by meteorites. A decade later, new scientists analyzed stone samples and discovered diamonds. They estimated the crater Ries contained more than 72,000 tons of diamonds.

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