Back to previous post: Eve Tushnet, Garcia Lorca, and a retired librarian

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: 23 March 1979

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

March 21, 2003

The Naica crystals
Posted by Teresa at 05:15 PM *

Ray Girvan’s reliably interesting Apothecary’s Drawer has turned up some astounding photos from the Naica lead and silver mine in Chihuahua, Mexico. As the photo site says:

On december 4th, 1999, an exploration drift in development located at 290 level of the mine intercepted a cave full of fabulous samples of selenite, as never seen in the world. Some of these samples are crystals more than 10 meters long and 1.5 meter diameter.
Seriously, this looks like something out of a comic book.

Apothecary’s Drawer also links to two further articles on the find, from Smithsonian Magazine and American Mineralogist.

Comments on The Naica crystals:
#1 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 06:44 PM:

All I can say is Wow! Those photos are even more exciting than the pack of coyotes I saw trotting by from the window near my computer early this morning (something I'd never seen before).
--Faren Miller, Prescott AZ

#2 ::: Damien Warman ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2003, 01:59 AM:


(Also, I like saying "blende". Mmm. Blende.)

#3 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2003, 11:44 AM:

Here's another link to a text page about the caves:

I saw the article in SMITHSONIAN last year, and my initial reaction was, also, "Wow!"

But then my cynicism kicked into high gear:

1) The SMITHSONIAN photos seemed to -only- show huge crystals in the cave. Shouldn't there be younger, smaller crystals growing as well?

2) The photos that included humans in the shots looked like they might be composite creations. Pretty good composites, but still...

and 3) the SMITHSONIAN article was in the -April- 2002 issue. Are the people at SMITHSONIAN above pulling their readers' leg?

Looking at some of the other sites noted here, I'm still not -convinced- that the caves aren't a hoax in the process of turning into a legend, but I'm wondering if I'm not just being too cynical.

(That would be a switch. Usually, I'm not cynical enough.)

#4 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2003, 07:53 PM:

Wow -- you find the coolest sites! I've passed the URL on to my pet crystallographer, who will surely drool over those pictures.

Happy anniversary!


#5 ::: James tootle ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2003, 01:46 PM:

WOW! Thanks for passing this along, its amazing.


Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.