Scientists decode the origins of Earth's minerals to inform our understanding of other planets 

Including some that pre-date our planet by billions of years

Researchers have revealed the enigmatic beginnings of Earth's minerals and analysed their varied composition across billions of years,

uncovering evidence for the importance of water and rare elements in their formation as well as 297 minerals that predate the foundation of our planet

40 percent of the 5,659 identified mineral species on Earth were formed by nature, and in some cases

 she employed more than 15 different recipes to develop their chemical makeup and crystal structure.

Over 80% of mineral species were determined to have been formed by water, and over 2,400 of the planet's minerals include at least one of 41 rare earth elements

 including arsenic, cadmium, gold, mercury, silver, titanium, zinc, uranium, and tungsten.

Nine out of the 5,659 recognised mineral species studied by scientists were created through 15 or more physical, chemical, and/or biological processes.

These processes ranged from changes brought on by water-rock interactions or transformations at high pressures and temperatures over hundreds of millions of years

Pyrite, often known as fool's gold, was discovered to have 21 different modes of formation, making it the champion of various beginnings.

Pyrite can occur in hostile conditions with no life at all, at high and low temperatures, with or without water, and with or without the help of bacteria.

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