For centuries, scientists believed that animals and minerals lived in two separate worlds. Then, four years ago, a groundbreaking study led to a dynamic realization: Life on Earth radically altered the way minerals formed on our planet. Last year, a major research journal devoted an entire issue to analyzing the idea, and now the science of studying minerals and understanding Earth as a planet has been radically shaken up.
The most surprising thing is that we can still find deposits of some of these minerals concentrated enough to mine. You would think that by now, it would be all mixed up to a level of uselessness. No cell phones then.