Cave’s Giant Crystals Take Eons to Grow
by Charles Q. Choi
Giant crystals that can reach sizes larger than houses grow at incredibly slow rates, taking as long as a million years to reach more than two stories tall, scientists now find.
Crystals made of gypsum up to 36 ft (11 m) long and about 3 ft (1 m) thick were recently discovered in the now famous Cave of the Crystals in a mine in Naica, Mexico, by far the biggest such crystals in the world.
These highly transparent crystals are not only striking in appearance, they are also mysterious: Scientists have been stumped by how crystals might reach such a giant size. Calculations suggested these crystals needed a narrow range of temperatures to form — between 129 and 136 deg F (54 to 58 deg C) — and a very long time to do so. However, just how long they needed was enigmatic, because the timescales to grow a giant crystal are too vast to reproduce in the laboratory…
(read more: OurAmazingPlanet)           (photo: Alexander Dreissche)

Cave’s Giant Crystals Take Eons to Grow

by Charles Q. Choi

Giant crystals that can reach sizes larger than houses grow at incredibly slow rates, taking as long as a million years to reach more than two stories tall, scientists now find.

Crystals made of gypsum up to 36 ft (11 m) long and about 3 ft (1 m) thick were recently discovered in the now famous Cave of the Crystals in a mine in Naica, Mexico, by far the biggest such crystals in the world.

These highly transparent crystals are not only striking in appearance, they are also mysterious: Scientists have been stumped by how crystals might reach such a giant size. Calculations suggested these crystals needed a narrow range of temperatures to form — between 129 and 136 deg F (54 to 58 deg C) — and a very long time to do so. However, just how long they needed was enigmatic, because the timescales to grow a giant crystal are too vast to reproduce in the laboratory…

(read more: OurAmazingPlanet)           (photo: Alexander Dreissche)

  1. tahleebird reblogged this from bird-queen
  2. zholtaniusar reblogged this from martwhim
  3. katwithaface reblogged this from kueekuatsu
  4. kueekuatsu reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  5. cabinet-de-curiosites reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  6. herp-derpherpderpian reblogged this from martwhim
  7. nemomus-prime reblogged this from martwhim
  8. watershiphobbits reblogged this from martwhim
  9. chronohat reblogged this from martwhim
  10. ivithedreamer reblogged this from martwhim
  11. coast-robbo reblogged this from martwhim
  12. spangledshieldsandsilverwings reblogged this from martwhim
  13. teenakp reblogged this from martwhim
  14. martwhim reblogged this from cericneesh
  15. neverknwsbest reblogged this from wintersknife
  16. ievenbroughtastraw reblogged this from cericneesh
  17. cericneesh reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  18. slay-runt reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  19. itsnotovertonight reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  20. sleepyheathen reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  21. 26player reblogged this from climbingamountainwithawolf
  22. bondagebakesaleon reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  23. theredearth reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  24. litlebugs reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  25. verytall-sherekhan reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  26. oneofthepaths reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  27. raptuallie reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  28. scienceawesome reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  29. benritmeyer reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  30. vergiliusmaro reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  31. igoanywhereyougo reblogged this from rhamphotheca