The structure of most lipid-water phases can be visualized as an ordered distribution of two liquid media, water and hydrocarbons, separated by a continuous surface covered by the polar groups of the lipid molecules1. In the cubic phases in particular, rod-like elements are linked into three-dimensional networks1,2. Two of these phases (space groups Ia3d and Pn3m) contain two such three-dimensional networks mutually inter-woven and unconnected. Under the constraints of energy minimization3, the interface between the components in certain of these `porous fluids' may well resemble one of the periodic minimal surface structures of the type described mathematically by Schwarz4,5. A structure of this sort has been proposed for the viscous isotropic (cubic) form of glycerol monooleate (GMO) by Larsson et al.6 who suggested that the X-ray diagrams of Lindblom et al.7 indicated a body-centred crystal structure in which lipid bilayers might be arranged as in Schwarz's octahedral surface4. We have now found that at high water contents, a primitive cubic lattice better fits the X-ray evidence with the material in the crystal arranged in a tetrahedral way. The lipid appears to form a single bilayer, continuous in three dimensions, separating two continuous interlinked networks of water. Each of the water networks has the symmetry of the diamond crystal structure and the bilayer lies in the space between them following a surface resembling Schwarz's tetrahedral surface4.