A Bokononist Calypso for Ice-VII Inclusions in Diamonds


You say, ‘It’s the water I run from the tap,

that’s dripping and keeping me up from a nap,

boils for tea, coffee, freezes to ice,

and is drunk by women and men and some mice,

it fills up boreholes and fills up a cloud’,

you say, and knowing it makes you so proud,

you say, ‘I know this, I go for a hike’,

And You Know Who thinks, ‘If you so like’.


Image source: O. Tschauner et al., Science, 9 Mar 2018, vol. 359, no. 6380, pp. 1136-1139.

This is a new Bokononist calypso I wrote today, when I came across the news that ice-VII, a strange configuration of ice was found inside diamonds originating roughly 600 km below Earth’s surface. Previously it was thought that this particular phase of water ice may be found on asteroids and other planets both within and outside our solar system, but on Earth it was only known to exist in laboratories.


Currently, there are 17 different known phases of ice, as in frozen water. They’re numbered from ice-I all the way through to ice-XVII. Even without an MSc in theoretical chemistry, this nomenclature may ring a bell to readers of literature: in Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, ‘ice-9’ (or ‘ice-nine’, depending on edition) is a seed crystal concocted by Dr Felix Hoenikker, which, coupled of course with human carelessness and short-sightedness, brings about a frozen apocalypse.

This is a somewhat more popular rendering of this recent icy discovery, while this one here is the more in-depth stuff for science-y folks out there. The latter is unfortunately “protected” by a heavily fortified pay-wall.*


* Shame on you, Science Magazine. “Access to this Article for 1 day for US$30.00?” Really? De most komolyan, és akkor csodálkozunk a Sci-Hub-on és hasonlókon? We’ll get back to this in the near future, trust me.

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