On National Peanut Butter Day, a reminder that peanut butter is so versatile it can be turned into diamonds. It actually takes more time to explain why you can turn peanut butter into diamonds than to explain how. Plus: this weekend in McCall, Idaho, the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships are taking place.

How to make a diamond from scratch – with peanut butter (BBC)

Peanut butter diamonds on display (BBC)

George Washington Carver: Biography, Inventions & Quotes (LiveScience)

McCall Winter Carnival and Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships

Diamonds are forever, and so are Cool Weird Awesome’s backers on Patreon

AUDIO FOR THIS EPISODE WILL BE POSTED SHORTLY

National Peanut Butter Day is a reminder of how versatile peanuts are.

George Washington Carver spent his entire career promoting all the various ways we could use peanuts, including insulation, wood stains and wall boards.

But here’s one I would have never expected: scientists can use peanut butter to make diamonds.

It’s actually a pretty basic process: peanuts come from plants, so they have carbon in them. And what’s a diamond but carbon atoms, compressed very tightly together?

To make these diamonds, scientists take a couple of gem quality diamonds and use those to squeeze the peanut butter until its carbon turns into a diamond.

Of course, that does take a lot of pressure, so it’s not as if we’re going to come back from the grocery store and set up peanut butter gem labs in the garage.

Also, this process doesn’t produce the kinds of diamonds you’d see in a jewelry store.

So why make diamonds out of peanut butter? For science!

Researchers use these studies to learn about a range of topics, from what’s inside the earth’s core and how that core formed, to tests that could help develop new kinds of medicines.

And anyway, why except for high-level science would you want to turn peanut butter into diamonds? It’s not like you can eat the diamonds!

Meanwhile, if crystals are to your liking, I suggest you head to McCall, Idaho, where the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships are taking place.

Participants get a block of ice, hand tools and three days to make a gigantic piece of frozen art.

The time limit in ice sculpting is the tricky part, as I’m sure some artists find it hard to let it go.