The 6 oldest elements or places in the world

With approximately 4.5 billion years, the Earth holds an immense past, part of which can be found, seen and admired by people. For another significant part, archeology has played a key role in broadening our understanding of life.

Not everything old is inside a museum. Places like the Andes Mountains are millions of years old. For the rest, researchers have been finding the world’s oldest objects, some you might only be able to see through this list. Check out 6 of them.

1. Grains of zircon (4.4 billion years old)

Found in Australia, in a region called Jack Hills, zircon grains have been dated to 4.4 billion years. These are microscopic objects, which revealed many details about the beginning of planet Earth, as they would have formed “only” 160 million years after the formation of the planet.

The researchers indicate that these zircons came from rocks that were rich in water and indicate that the Earth’s temperature cooled quickly enough that the crust was able to solidify from the molten rock and then form water. It was a significant change in the directions that science had on the emergence of the Earth.

2. Hematite filaments (3.75 billion years old)

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Filaments of hematite found in Quebec, Canada have been dated to approximately 3.75 billion years. The discovery was made in the year 2017 and the finding changed the understanding we previously had about the emergence of microbial life on the planet.

The filaments found in the fossils are 300 million years older than what was previously known. Research revealed that the fossils contained chemicals normally found in living organisms, especially carbon and phosphorus.

3. Stromatolites (3.5 billion years old)

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Stromatolites are the name given to layered rocks formed from fossils of cyanobacteria, microbes that emit a blue-green color. The name literally means “layered rock”.

They are found in some salt lakes around the world, especially in Australia. Dating back approximately 3.5 billion years, they are considered to be some of the world’s earliest visible life forms.

4. Barbeton Makhinjwa Mountains (3.6 billion years old)

Located in northeastern South Africa, the Barbeton Makhinjwa Mountains are a succession of volcanic and sedimentary rocks dating back approximately 3.6 billion years. The mountain range has crevices that were caused, according to the researchers, by the impact of meteors that hit the Earth 4 billion years ago.

In the region, the oldest gold in the world can be found, as well as some of the oldest fossils that humanity is aware of and are representative of the first signs of life that Earth had known. In 2018, UNESCO included the mountain range as a World Heritage Site, adding to the list of another 1091 sites.

5. Lake Zaysan (60 million years old)

Lake Zaysan in Kazakhstan is experiencing scientific turmoil. That’s because the latest research has placed it as the oldest lake in the world, with approximately 60 million years old. In theory, this would mean that Zaysan would have formed at some point in the Cretaceous period.

However, the clearest evidence discovered and accepted by the scientific community says that Lake Baikal, in Russia, occupies this position, having existed 30 million years ago. Questions exist because the dating of Zaysan would have been done with some imprecision.

The geological studies carried out in the Kazakh lake basin are being revised and its oldest post, for the time being, is still valid. For this reason, you find it in this list.

6. Jaw UR 501 (2.5 million years old)

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Known by the name of UR 501, a hominid jaw, attributed to the Homo rudolfensiswas found in Chiwondo Beds, Uraha, northern Malawi, Africa, in 1997. It is the oldest known “dental arch”.

Since its finding, studies on it have been able to date it to 2.5 million years. The analysis of this mandible found many similarities with others of the period, such as the formation of premolars and molars.

The LD 350-1 jaw, found in 2003, was found to be 2.8 million years old. However, many studies are being conducted, as the fossil was found on a surface detached from the main rock. For this reason, the UR 501 is still officially the oldest.