Diamond-encrusted rock samples discovered on a Canadian island come from an ancient continent that was probably 10 per cent larger than has always been thought, geologists say.

The fragments of the North Atlantic Craton – a vast land mass which stretched from Europe to North America – were found on Baffin Island.

Scientists stumbled on them as they sifted the area for diamond samples.

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The fragments, bearing a mineral signature matching other portions of the North Atlantic Craton, are thought to be some 150 million years old.

“Finding these lost pieces is like finding a missing piece of a puzzle,” Maya Kopylova, a geologist with the University of British Columbia said in an article published on the institute’s website.

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1/50 21 March 2020

A woman standing on her balcony reaches out to catch a rose delivered to her via a drone on Mother’s day, in the Lebanese coastal city of Jounieh, north of the capital Beirut, as people remain indoors in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus. In a quiet Lebanese town under lockdown over the novel coronavirus, a drone buzzed towards a balcony on Saturday to deliver a red rose to a mother grinning in surprise. The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a damper on Mother’s Day this year, but three students have come up with a novel service to celebrate the occasion without flouting social distancing restrictions

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2/50 20 March 2020

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3/50 19 March 2020

Members of a medical assistance team from Jiangsu province chant slogans at a ceremony marking their departure after helping with the Covid-19 coronavirus recovery effort, in Wuhan. Medical teams from across China began leaving Wuhan this week after the number of new coronavirus infections dropped. China on reported no new domestic cases for the first time since it started recording them in January, but recorded a spike in infections from abroad

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5/50 17 March 2020

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AFP via Getty

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10/50 12 March 2020

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11/50 11 March 2020

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19/50 3 March 2020

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22/50 29 February 2020

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23/50 28 February 2020

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24/50 27 February 2020

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26/50 25 February 2020

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27/50 24 February 2020

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28/50 23 February 2020

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29/50 22 February 2020

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30/50 21 February 2020

An Iranian woman wearing a face mask shows her inked finger after casting her ballot at a polling station set up at the Abdol Azim shrine during the parliamentary elections in Shahr-e-Ray, Tehran Province, Iran. Iranians are heading to the polls to elect their representatives to the Islamic Consultative Assembly amid a worsening economic crisis and escalating tensions with the US

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31/50 20 February 2020

Roger Stone, former advisor to US President Donald Trump arrives at court prior to his sentencing hearing. Trump’s longtime aide will be sentenced in a case that has caused a stir in Washington following meddling by the US president and his attorney general. Stone, one of the Republican leader’s allies and “oldest friends,” was convicted in November of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to cheat in the 2016 election

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32/50 19 February 2020

Members of the Kazakh Emergencies Ministry take cover during a controlled explosion triggering an avalanche for public safety in the Tien Shan mountains outside Almaty, Kazakhstan

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33/50 18 February 2020

Women chant slogans during a demonstration against gender violence outside the National Palace, in Mexico City. Dozens of women protested over the murder of a seven-year-old girl in the Mexican capital, a case that generated anger and outrage. The murder of the minor shocked the country two days after hundreds of women protested in several cities in Mexico over the femicide of Ingrid Escamilla, a 25-year-old woman who was killed by her partner north of the Mexican capital

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34/50 17 February 2020

People gather at the site of a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan

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35/50 16 February 2020

Dogs wearing masks are seen at a main shopping area, in downtown Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus

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36/50 15 February 2020

Men dressed in loincloths prepare to snatch a wooden stick called “shingi” tossed by the priest during a naked festival at Saidaiji Temple in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture Japan February 15, 2020. The person who grabs the wooden stick is considered the “luckiest man of the year”.

REUTERS

37/50 14 February 2020

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38/50 13 February 2020

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40/50 11 February 2020

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41/50 10 February 2020

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42/50 9 February 2020

South Korean film director Bong Joon Ho poses with the awards, his film Parasite, won at the Oscars. It was named best picture, becoming the first non-English language film to do so

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43/50 8 February 2020

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44/50 7 February 2020

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45/50 6 February 2020

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46/50 5 February 2020

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Anadolu Agency via Getty

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Sri Lanka’s military march with national flags during the 72nd independence day ceremony, in Colombo

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48/50 3 February 2020

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49/50 2 February 2020

An Iraqi demonstrator sits amid burning tires blocking a road during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq

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Horses panic as a spot fire runs through the property of Lawrence and Clair Cowie near Canberra, Australia. The couple stayed to defend their home, with the spot fire destroying part of the property. Chief Minister Andrew Barr declared a State of Emergency on Friday, as the Orroral Valley bushfire continues to burn out of control

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1/50 21 March 2020

A woman standing on her balcony reaches out to catch a rose delivered to her via a drone on Mother’s day, in the Lebanese coastal city of Jounieh, north of the capital Beirut, as people remain indoors in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus. In a quiet Lebanese town under lockdown over the novel coronavirus, a drone buzzed towards a balcony on Saturday to deliver a red rose to a mother grinning in surprise. The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a damper on Mother’s Day this year, but three students have come up with a novel service to celebrate the occasion without flouting social distancing restrictions

AFP via Getty

2/50 20 March 2020

Newlyweds Diego Fernandes, 46 and Deni Salgado, 30, kiss through protective face masks at a wedding ceremony with only witnesses and no guests, as public gatherings are banned as part of Italy’s lockdown measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease in Naples

Reuters

3/50 19 March 2020

Members of a medical assistance team from Jiangsu province chant slogans at a ceremony marking their departure after helping with the Covid-19 coronavirus recovery effort, in Wuhan. Medical teams from across China began leaving Wuhan this week after the number of new coronavirus infections dropped. China on reported no new domestic cases for the first time since it started recording them in January, but recorded a spike in infections from abroad

AFP via Getty

4/50 18 March 2020

Sri Lankan police wear face masks a rehearsal parade in Colombo

AFP via Getty

5/50 17 March 2020

Divers clean and swipe the floor and walls of a pool at an aquatic complex in Medellin after the closure of all sporting venues in Colombia as a preventive measure against the spread of the Covid-19

AFP via Getty

6/50 16 March 2020

Workers spray disinfectant as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus at the Mubarikiya market following the outbreak of coronavirus, in Kuwait City

EPA

7/50 15 March 2020

People gather with their belongings at the scene of the fire outbreak at Abule-Ado in Lagos, Nigeria

Reuters

8/50 14 March 2020

A man feeds pidgeons at Cataluna Square in Barcelona

EPA

9/50 13 March 2020

A mosso de esquadra police officer stands on the closed off road near Igualada, Spain. Over 60,000 people awoke Friday in four towns near Barcelona confined to their homes and with police blocking roads. The order by regional authorities in Catalonia is Spain’s first mandatory lockdown as Covid-19 coronavirus infections increase sharply

AP

10/50 12 March 2020

Italian mechanics Giacomo and Alessandro pose at their garage in Rome, as Italy shut all stores except for pharmacies and food shops in a desperate bid to halt the spread of a coronavirus that has killed 827 in the the country in just over two weeks

AFP via Getty

11/50 11 March 2020

Monks pray for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster during a memorial service on the coast in Iwaki, Fukushima. Japan marked the ninth anniversary of the killer tsunami that triggered the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, but fears about the new coronavirus forced a scaling back of public commemorations

Jiji Press/AFP via Getty

12/50 10 March 2020

Revellers dance as they celebrate Holi, the spring festival of colours in Allahabad

AFP/Getty

13/50 9 March 2020

Medical staff celebrate after all patients were discharged at a temporary hospital set up to treat people with the COVID-19 coronavirus in Wuhan in China

AFP/Getty

14/50 8 March 2020

A hundred members of the conservative activist group called Manif pour Tous (“Protest for Everyone”) dressed as Marianne, French Republic’s allegory, stage a protest against assisted reproductive technology (ART) and surrogacy in front of the National Assembly in Paris, France

AFP/Getty

15/50 7 March 2020

A migrant man runs away as another one takes cover behind a bin as Greek police use water cannons to block them trying to break fences in the Turkey-Greece border province of Edirne

AFP/Getty

16/50 6 March 2020

Police and forensic experts inspect the scene of an explosion near the US embassy in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia

AFP/Getty

17/50 5 March 2020

Migrants prepare for the coming night in a forest in the buffer zone at the Turkey-Greece border a crossing point

AFP/Getty

18/50 4 March 2020

A migrant rests with a child in his arms next to the Tunca river in Edirne, Turkey

Reuters

19/50 3 March 2020

Spanish policemen and civil guards sporting Guy Fawkes masks protest in front of Spanish policemen standing guard during a demonstration to demand fair wages in Madrid

AFP via Getty

20/50 2 March 2020

South Korean soldiers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant as part of preventive measures against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at a market in Daegu

Yonhap/AFP via Getty

21/50 1 March 2020

A woman shouts as law enforcement officials move in to disperse a group of immigrants who had occupied a historic church and a square. They are demanding to be moved to another country as they claim to feel not safe because of xenophobic attacks in central Cape Town, South Africa

Reuters

22/50 29 February 2020

Greek border guard use teargas to push back migrants who try to enter Greece at the Pazarkule border gate in Edirne, Turkey

AP

23/50 28 February 2020

A woman makes her way and NGO’s members help as a dinghy with 54 Afghan refugees lands ashore the Greek island of Lesbos. Turkey will no longer close its border gates to refugees who want to go to Europe, a senior official told AFP, shortly after the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in an airstrike in northern Syria

AFP via Getty Images

24/50 27 February 2020

Snow has fallen in high ground in Tasmania during the Australian summer

Tasmanian Rover Ski Club / Facebook

25/50 26 February 2020

Men ride a motorcycle past security forces patrolling a street in a riot-affected area of Delhi on Wednesday

Reuters

26/50 25 February 2020

Workers disinfect subway trains against coronavirus in Tehran, Iran

AP

27/50 24 February 2020

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters fire their anti-aircraft gun in the town of Sarmin, about 8 kilometres southeast of the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria, as they take part in a military offensive on the village of Nayrab following an artillery barrage fired by Turkish forces

AFP via Getty

28/50 23 February 2020

A security guard wearing a protective face mask stand guard as masked and costumed people walk by during the Carnival in Venice, Italy

EPA

29/50 22 February 2020

People dressed in traditional Czech folklore costumes parade through the village of Vortova near the east Bohemian city of Pardubice during the traditional Masopust carnival. The festival marks the beginning of Lent. This folk tradition of the carnival parade of masks was registered in the UNESCO List of the Intagible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010

Getty

30/50 21 February 2020

An Iranian woman wearing a face mask shows her inked finger after casting her ballot at a polling station set up at the Abdol Azim shrine during the parliamentary elections in Shahr-e-Ray, Tehran Province, Iran. Iranians are heading to the polls to elect their representatives to the Islamic Consultative Assembly amid a worsening economic crisis and escalating tensions with the US

EPA

31/50 20 February 2020

Roger Stone, former advisor to US President Donald Trump arrives at court prior to his sentencing hearing. Trump’s longtime aide will be sentenced in a case that has caused a stir in Washington following meddling by the US president and his attorney general. Stone, one of the Republican leader’s allies and “oldest friends,” was convicted in November of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to cheat in the 2016 election

AFP via Getty

32/50 19 February 2020

Members of the Kazakh Emergencies Ministry take cover during a controlled explosion triggering an avalanche for public safety in the Tien Shan mountains outside Almaty, Kazakhstan

Reuters

33/50 18 February 2020

Women chant slogans during a demonstration against gender violence outside the National Palace, in Mexico City. Dozens of women protested over the murder of a seven-year-old girl in the Mexican capital, a case that generated anger and outrage. The murder of the minor shocked the country two days after hundreds of women protested in several cities in Mexico over the femicide of Ingrid Escamilla, a 25-year-old woman who was killed by her partner north of the Mexican capital

AFP via Getty

34/50 17 February 2020

People gather at the site of a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan

Reuters

35/50 16 February 2020

Dogs wearing masks are seen at a main shopping area, in downtown Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus

REUTERS

36/50 15 February 2020

Men dressed in loincloths prepare to snatch a wooden stick called “shingi” tossed by the priest during a naked festival at Saidaiji Temple in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture Japan February 15, 2020. The person who grabs the wooden stick is considered the “luckiest man of the year”.

REUTERS

37/50 14 February 2020

Squirrels eat treats at a ‘Valentine’s day party’ organised for them by staff in Skopje Zoo, North Macedonia

Reuters

38/50 13 February 2020

Internally displaced children stand on snow near tents at a makeshift camp in Azaz, Syria

Reuters

39/50 12 February 2020

A model presents a creation from the Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2020 collection during New York Fashion Week

Reuters

40/50 11 February 2020

Hawaiian surfer Kai Lenny rides a wave during the big waves Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge in Nazare

AFP via Getty

41/50 10 February 2020

A worker wears a protective suit as he stands outside an office building while checking people entering in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to more than 40000 in mainland China. The country has continued to lock down the city of Wuhan in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts have confirmed can be passed from human to human. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 900, mostly in Hubei province, and cases have been reported in other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and several others. The World Health Organization has warned all governments to be on alert and screening has been stepped up at airports around the world. Some countries, including the United States, have put restrictions on Chinese travellers entering and advised their citizens against travel to China

Getty

42/50 9 February 2020

South Korean film director Bong Joon Ho poses with the awards, his film Parasite, won at the Oscars. It was named best picture, becoming the first non-English language film to do so

AFP via Getty

43/50 8 February 2020

Thailand security forces take cover behind an ambulance as they chase a shooter hidden in a shopping mall after a mass shooting in front of the Terminal 21, in Nakhon Ratchasima

Reuters

44/50 7 February 2020

A Palestinian demonstrator hurls stones at Israeli forces as tires burn near the Israeli barrier during a protest against the US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, in the village of Bilin, West Bank

Reuters

45/50 6 February 2020

Two people were killed and dozens injured when a train derailed outside the city of Lodi in Italy

AFP via Getty

46/50 5 February 2020

Health teams and fire brigade crews surround a passenger plane which split into three pieces after it skidded off the runway at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Turkey

Anadolu Agency via Getty

47/50 4 February 2020

Sri Lanka’s military march with national flags during the 72nd independence day ceremony, in Colombo

Reuters

48/50 3 February 2020

Refugees and migrants confront riot police during a demonstration outside the Kara Tepe camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, February 3, 2020

Reuters

49/50 2 February 2020

An Iraqi demonstrator sits amid burning tires blocking a road during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq

Reuters

50/50 1 February 2020

Horses panic as a spot fire runs through the property of Lawrence and Clair Cowie near Canberra, Australia. The couple stayed to defend their home, with the spot fire destroying part of the property. Chief Minister Andrew Barr declared a State of Emergency on Friday, as the Orroral Valley bushfire continues to burn out of control

Getty

She added that such evidence of the ancient crust, which has also previously been found in Scotland and Greenland, was much sought-after.

The samples were taken from deep below the Chidliak Kimberlite Province on the south of Baffin Island.

Read more

Previous reconstructions of the North Atlantic Craton had been based on shallow rock samples formed at depths of up to six miles.

But, because the new rock samples were found far deeper into the earth, it suggests the land mass may have been even bigger than previously thought.

“With these samples we’re able to reconstruct the shapes of ancient continents based on deeper, mantle rocks,” Ms Kopylova said. “We can now understand and map not only the uppermost skinny layer of Earth that makes up 1 per cent of the planet’s volume, but our knowledge is literally and symbolically deeper.”

The samples were initially found by provided by Peregrine Diamonds, a Canada-based mineral exploration company, and are now being kept at UBC for research.



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