Diamond oceans on Uranus and Neptune?

Old-school bOING bOING pal Jim Leftwich says:
A recent article in Nature Physics suggests there may be solid diamond icebergs floating in liquid diamond oceans on Uranus and Neptune. The article didn't mention whether there was also a diamond Titantic, along with diamond girl passenger wearing a diamond diamond.
"Diamond Oceans Possible on Uranus, Neptune"


  1. whoa. I wonder how it flows, and what fish would live in a diamond sea?

    There is a song in there somewhere.

  2. I had a friend who was so uptight that I told him once, “you’re so uptight that you could stick a lump of coal up Uranus and squeeze out a diamond.”

  3. There is a song there… and it’s by Sonic Youth:

    But Uranus made of diamond? That’s surely gonna hurt…

  4. My first response was “‘Liquid diamond’… that’s, what, crude oil?”, but it looks like legit science, and diamonds *can* actually melt and then freeze without changing into some non-diamond form of carbon.

    Next, I’m wondering what the potential uses of this are. Possibly useful, in a controlled way, for growing *vast* single-crystal diamonds, like they do with silicon now. that’d be awesome for optical stuff.

    But they’re not likely to have oceans of the stuff, according to a 2007 study: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Could-Uranus-and-Neptune-Have-Diamonds-on-the-Inside-59870.shtml

    “the process would take longer than the age of the universe […] the rate of crystallisation of carbon into diamond was exceedingly slow because Uranus and Neptune contain only 1 to 2% carbon. […] As far as we can judge from these calculations, it’s simply not possible.”

    So, unless liquid diamond makes it suddenly more likely, I’m just not seeing any likelihood of diamond Titanics.

    My next response… surely, surely, there’s a joke out there for “diamonds on uranus” – Digg does not disappoint! http://digg.com/space/Diamond_Oceans_Possible_on_Uranus_Neptune

  5. Tomorrow’s article: DeBeers launches a new space probe to disprove the abundance of said “space diamonds” while they secretly mine them all with slave labor and stow them away in a vault on Mars.

  6. De Beers has already purchased controlling interests in Uranus and Neptune, and declared them off-limits…

  7. The planet has rings around it. Prior to their discovery there were two pronunciations used. One was Ur Ayn Us and the other Ur Ann Us. The press standardized on the latter as they didn’t want to say “Rings around Ur Ayn Us…we’ll have film at 11.”

  8. 2061? Don’t know that, but F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” which has a diamond mountain. And if written today, GPS would fail to locate it, Google Maps to show it, and the iPhone to make calls from it.

  9. Yo Dawg, I heard you like diamonds, so we put a diamond in your diamond so you can diamond while you diamond.

  10. Hands down the scariest episode of Doctor Who I’ve ever seen. Seriously, they should have made that one a movie. I urge everyone to see it. I believe it was season 4 with Catherine Tate (but she wasn’t in this episode).

  11. What’ll happen if you put plain graphite into such a condition? IMO, might well form into Diamond.

    I think Diamonds are one of the biggest, most evil conspiracies on Earth. A cheap, plentiful substance that like Gold is quite useful in technology being hoarded by hideous cartels to keep it pricey, and encouraging all kinds of wars and human misery over it.

    I’m more interested however, in this subject, the high energy cores of large gas/liquid planets, especially Jupiter’s. Jupiter gives it’s own unique ‘solar system’ of moons more energy than they get from the sun. It’s a liquid core that’s likely superfluid, superconductor and liquid metallic hydrogen around super-dense matter. If Jupiter survives the Sun’s death throwes, this core might well keep outputting energy again as long as the total life of the sun, perhaps letting evolve a truly ancient, long-lived ecology on Europa.

    I also think that creation of such worlds, such ‘cores’ will be an ‘alternative energy’ debate of the far, far future when the universe approaches ‘deep time’. Right now there are plenty of “Brown Dwarves” and they can easily be collided together to create the “Perfect Red Drawf” star that gives a stable output for 1 trillion years. That actually should last longer than such a core, but on the other hand, it’ll give out a beacon of light in a very dark sky, and that could attract cultures that simply take over by force others rather than doing the work to build their own stars. Given great lenghts of time, such a core could even become a ‘battery’ for a megascale construct, and remain almost invisible against the endless night, and also much cheaper and easier than dealing with ‘harnessing a singularity’ or feeding matter into a black hole to tap the radiation.

    Things could likely change before then. Such a length of time also makes near certainty a culture that develops a “Grand Unified Theory” or in short understands the workings of physics. This would be the true “Philosopher’s Stone” and make possible not just transmutation of matter, but the ability to turn matter into energy itself. That would make messing with stars more an Aesthetic pursuit than a vital one, as it would still be much cheaper and easier to look for bits of matter or scoop diffuse gas than dealing with the gravity wells of stars.

    1. Damn! y’beat me to it.
      The whole ‘earth-sized-diamond at the heart of Jupiter’ thing.
      Yeah. That old schtick.

  12. 50 years from now, the plot of Red Faction will, in fact, play out on Uranus and Neptune… with De Beers in place of Ultor.

  13. one of the reasons space travel has never really got off the ground (ha!) is that there has never been a way to make money from going further than putting satellites up. now maybe there is. maybe.

    1. Nope. We already have a sea of diamonds too plentiful to count here on earth. They’re all locked in a DeBeer’s vault. If we found a planet made of pure diamond, DeBeers would blow it up, just to keep the market healthy (law of price and diamand)

  14. So many diamonds: that you cannot help but miss some.

    So many diamonds: so that like yesterday’s newspapers, they end up hitting the pavement, like those….

  15. So wait, some bored scientists figure out how to melt a diamond and then “theorize” that neptune has diamond oceans, just because its tilted? WTF passes for science these days?

  16. Liquid diamond is self contradictory (though catchy). Diamond is a specific crystalline structure, crystals are by definition solid, solids (long-range ordered crystals: order parameters–Bragg diffraction spots–nonzero) are by definition not liquid (no long-range order: order parameters zero). TFA seems to mean a state in which diamond crystals are in equilibrium with liquid carbon; previously only a liquid->graphite phase transition had been observed.

  17. What do you sail on a diamond ocean? I’d go back to the first Doors album and suggest: “The Crystal Ships.”

  18. Paul McCartney already wrote that song folks and its prophetic,,”Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

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