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Old 03-21-2007, 10:06 AM   #1
Undertoad
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March 21, 2007: Giant crystal cave in Mexico


(c) Javier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films / madridsf@gmail.com


Yes, it's another of those images too wide for your browser. But I had to keep these sized
like this, because you wanted to see the large version. You know you did.

It's another axlrosen submittal, which was also Boing Boing'd. The shots at the site BB links
to have extreme JPEG compression issues. Snooping around for better ones, only Snopes
message board had clearer original photos.


(c) Javier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films / madridsf@gmail.com

The complete explanation comes from here.

Quote:
The crystal cavern was discovered within the same limestone body that hosts
the silver-zinc-lead ore bodies exploited by the mine. The cavern was probably
dissolved by the same hydrothermal fluids that deposited the metals with the gypsum
being crystallized during the waning stages of mineralization. The crystals probably grew
relatively quickly to their immense size within a completely liquid-filled cavern.
No I don't understand it either. But it's gypsum.

They're working to document this place, but it's difficult, because it stays 125-150
degrees F (50-65 degrees C) and stays at 100% humidity. So, just when you thought this
place was eerie enough, back to the explanation:
Quote:
In April 2000, brothers Juan and Pedro Sanchez were drilling a new tunnel when they made
a truly spectacular discovery. While Naica miners are accustomed to finding crystals, Juan and
Pedro were absolutely amazed by the cavern that they found. The brothers immediately informed
the engineer in charge, Roberto Gonzalez. Ing. Gonzalez realized that they had discovered a
natural treasure and quickly rerouted the tunnel. During this phase some damage was done
as several miners tried to remove pieces of the mega-crystals, so the mining company soon
installed an iron door to protect the find. Later, one of the workers, with the intention of
stealing crystals, managed to get in through a narrow hole. He tried to take some plastic bags
filled with fresh air inside, but the strategy didn't work. He lost consciousness and later was
found thoroughly baked.

(c) Javier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films / madridsf@gmail.com
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:26 AM   #2
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Looks like a scene from "Journey To The Center Of The Earth".
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:27 AM   #3
Chinditz
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Seeing the man in the second pic completely surprised me, I thought that I was looking at a macro-shot of some crystals.

Beautiful place BTW, another one I'll ad to the "someday I need to go there wishlist" sigh.
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
He lost consciousness and later was found thoroughly baked.
This is not the usual way we contemplate eating the IOTD.
Very nice find, axl, ut!
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:34 AM   #5
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Awesome! I'd seen pics of this cave a few years ago, but nothing like these. Thanks for posting the full sized ones.

I want to visit, but 150 is hot. I could only handle that for a few minutes. And I bet it gets gradually warmer as you get closer, so it's not like you could just step into this hot room and then step out again.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:21 AM   #6
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At first I was like "cool?" then I saw the dude and exclamated "HOLY SHIT!"
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:23 AM   #7
Sheldonrs
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Wonder how big the meth is?
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:34 AM   #8
Gawa
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now...cover the Maserati with those crystals, and THAT would be art!
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:50 AM   #9
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That's what I imagine Stevie Nicks' jewelry box looks like.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:57 AM   #10
monster
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looks like a close up of someone's scalp with "visitors". *shudder*
or the surface of a pretzel.

perhaps I've been watching too much Magic Schoolbus.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:19 PM   #11
Dypok
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http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...57/ai_66681236

Found a better explanation of gypsum crystal formation for a similar site in Spain.

Geologists think the gigantic geode was formed 6 million years ago, when mineral-saturated water flowed through a rock hole. As water slowly evaporated, minerals clung to the rock's surface, forming a lattice of smooth-faced, geometrical shapes. "When minerals separate from water they stick to solids, just like sugar from a solution sticks to a piece of string," says Paul Burger, a geologist at New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns. "Crystal formation uses the same process that makes rock candy."

I'm not sure if the subject pictures qualify as a geode, but the mineral deposit and crystallization process would be the same.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:30 PM   #12
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Your name is Kal-El. You are the only survivor of the planet Krypton. Even though you've been raised as a human being, you are not one of them. You have great powers, only some of which you have as yet discovered.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seakdivers View Post
Your name is Kal-El. You are the only survivor of the planet Krypton. Even though you've been raised as a human being, you are not one of them. You have great powers, only some of which you have as yet discovered.
lol!

The Fortress of Solitude needs a home makeover.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:48 PM   #14
monster
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It's so hot that guy's head is bursting into flames!

I hate those papparazzi who take pictures of people in trouble rather than helping them.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:57 PM   #15
Shawnee123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
It's so hot that guy's head is bursting into flames!
.
Yeah, he's a real flamer.
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