Thursday, May 21

Crystal Cave!

I have been using a crystal rock for background in my pictures for the past couple of years. One reason is because everyone is such a good photographer on Etsy, and they all do "arty" type pictures. I don't have the best imagination for art photographs, nor the skill to take such fantastic pictures as so many do. I did like the look of having this particular crystal rock in pictures though, and it serves other purpose besides being pretty.

It helps show scale of things, or it did, before I show you this Crystal Cave :) It helps me adjust the color of the shots since they almost always come out of the camera darker than they should, and the crystal turns pink. If I can get the pink out of the crystal, it's usually a pretty good chance all the other color is close to reality too.

I'm just joking around about not being able to use this crystal for scale anymore, because there is apparently only this one Crystal Cave in the whole world. Or maybe there are more that just haven't been discovered?

Giant Crystal Cave

A sort of south-of-the-border Fortress of Solitude, Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) contains some of the world's largest known natural crystals—translucent beams of gypsum as long as 36 feet (11 meters).

How did the crystals reach such superheroic proportions?

In the new issue of the journal Geology, García-Ruiz reports that for millennia the crystals thrived in the cave's extremely rare and stable natural environment. Temperatures hovered consistently around a steamy 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius), and the cave was filled with mineral-rich water that drove the crystals' growth.

Modern-day mining operations exposed the natural wonder by pumping water out of the 30-by-90-foot (10-by-30-meter) cave, which was found in 2000 near the town of Delicias (Chihuahua state map). Now García-Ruiz is advising the mining company to preserve the caves.

"There is no other place on the planet," García-Ruiz said, "where the mineral world reveals itself in such beauty."

Read the full story of the new discovery.

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