A billion year old water bottle has been added to the collection at the Ingenium Centre: Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation.
One of the oldest museum artifacts has found a home in Ottawa.
A billion year old water bottle has been added to the collection at the Ingenium Centre: Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, beside the Canada Science and Technology Museum on St. Laurent Boulevard.
That water, a sample of the oldest flowing water ever discovered, was collected in 2009 from the Kidd Creek Mine, near Timmons, about 2.4 km below the Earth’s surface. It was collected by University of Toronto geochemist Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, whose analysis determined it to be more than 10 times older than the previously oldest known water sample.
In 2016, Lollar was made a Companion of the Order of Canada for her “revolutionary contributions to geochemistry, notably in the development of innovative mechanisms for groundwater remediation, and for her discovery of ancient fluids that hold implications for life on other planets.”
According to a release from Ingenium, parts of Lollar’s sample are even older, dating back to before the great oxidation event, more than two billion years ago, when greater amounts of oxygen began to accumulate in the Earth’s atmosphere.
In addition to the water sample, Ingenium’s acquisition includes a sample of a type of rock that microbes in the water eat.
“This discovery gives us clues as to the potential for life that is buried within the deepest parts of other planets,” says the Ingenium release. “Like ancient rocks, this water brings messages from the early days of the earth. The collection and scientific analysis of the water sample deepens our understanding of the hydrosphere and the capacity for life to occur in extreme conditions (e.g. on other planets). The water itself is its own ecosystem and symbolizes a time before anthropogenic climate change.”
The water will be accessible for research, interpretation and collection development.
Originally published at strathroy age dispatch