The world’s oldest rock, a 4.4 billion year old zircon crystal, has been uncovered in Western Australia’s Jack Hills region.
According to Nature Geoscience, this new discovery has demonstrated that the Earth’s crust formed soon after our plant formed, with the zircon crystal being a remnant of this, the SMH reports.
The rocks were uncovered in the Narryer Gniess Terrane region
Prior to this discovery the oldest rocks uncovered were thought to be between 3.8 and 4.28 billion years old, and were found in the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt, in Canada.
This new discovery has also shown, due to the zircon’s oxygen isotopic composition, that there was already water on the surface of the Earth at this time,
The Earth is believed the have formed only 4.5 billion years ago, and these rocks have shown that water could have existed on the earth’s surface within 150 million years of it originally forming.
The oldest rock ever dated was a non-terrestrial meteorite, which is believed to be 4.56 billion years old.