Billion-year-old water finds home in Ottawa

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One of the oldest museum artifacts has found a home in Ottawa.

A bottle of water estimated to be more than a billion years old 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.

OTTAWA – November 29, 2020 – One of the oldest museum artifacts in the world has been added to a world class collection of science and technology – at Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation. Photo: Pierre Martin, Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation jpg

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.”

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