Back in 2007, scientists found evidence of our planet's first continents in the form of 4.3 billion-year-old diamonds—old as the very Earth itself. And these diamonds were finally going to give us the insight into the evolution of Earth's crust that we've been searching for. Now, six years later, there's just one little problem: Those tiny gems? Actually tiny leftover bits of polishing grit. Whoops.
The team of international scientists responsible for the "discovery" had reported uncovering these potentially elucidating, microscopic diamonds in the inner pockets of zircon crystals from the Jack Hills of Western Australia. They just didn't take into account the fact that the polish they used to prepare the zircon samples was made of—er, microscopic diamonds.