There’s a new kind of ice.
It forms at speeds of more than 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h), it lies deep beneath our feet, it could destroy hopes for alien life, and — finally — scientists understand how it works.
Back in March, researchers writing in the journal Science revealed that they have found the first evidence for this ice, called “Ice VII.” Scientists had predicted its existence beforehand. Under the right conditions, it was believed, ice could form in a pool of water without a layer of heat at the leading edge of its growing surface.
That — along with super-intense pressures and temperatures — would allow the ice to form without most of the usual brakes that slow its growth, Science Alert reported. It would also have a different crystal structure, or arrangement of atoms. Now, scientists say they’ve found that elusive ice for the first time in the frozen-water cores of diamonds that bubbled up from deep inside the Earth.