A Western Australian mining company happened across a remarkable rock in 2006; it was purple-pinkish in colour and very strange-looking.  The company handed over the rocks to geologist Peter Elliot of the South Australian Museum for analysis and eight years later Elliot announced his finding: the rock was completely new to science

READ MORE // The year of the Exoplanet

In April of 2014, Elliot announced the rock was a previously unknown mineral, and he dubbed the rock Putnisite after fellow mineralogists Christine and Andrew Putnis.

Putnisite
SrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8(SO4)

Putnisite is an interesting mineral: it shimmers in an almost otherworldly way.  Most minerals which are discovered are related to previously known minerals, either chemically or structurally. Putnisite combines Strontium, Calcium, Chromium, Sulfur, Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen in a new and unique way.

Putnisite, it turns out, is completely unique.

There’s 99 more stories from 2014.  Check out the Best of 2014 series here.

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