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 A gigantic cave of crystals has been discovered in an old silver mine in Spain.
It occupies a space of 10.7 m³ (8 m long by 1.8 m wide by a 1.7 m average high) and is located at a depth of 50 m in the Pilar de Jaravía lead mine, in the Sierra del Aguilón, in the municipality of Pulpí, coinciding with the sea level, 3 km from the coast.
The geode, which is eight metres (26ft) long and crammed full of gypsum prisms, has been put under police guard to prevent souvenir hunters from raiding the extraordinary natural phenomenon.

The geologist who announced the find, Javier Garcia-Guinea, wants to turn the site into a tourist attraction.

He said that up to 10 people could sit inside the geode - an object normally small enough to hold in your hands.




"Bending your body between the huge crystals is an incredible sensation," he said. "When I was young I dreamt of flying, but never to go into a geode internally covered with transparent crystals."

Schematic sketch of the geode and its dimensions. Credit : A. Rivera

 Rumours of the existence of a giant gypsum geode had been circulating among mineral collectors since December.

But it was only on May that Javier Garcia-Guinea, from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Madrid, finally managed to track down the cave.

"The crystals are absolutely transparent and perfect," he said. The geologist has searched the international literature and can find no other object to compare in size.




The geode - essentially a rock cavity which has become lined with crystalline deposits - is eight meters in length, 1.8 metres wide and 1.7 metres high (26 feet by six by six).

The crystals of gypsum - hydrous calcium sulphate - are about half a metre in length.

 The giant geode may have formed at the same time as a geological event called the Messinian salinity crisis.


At this time, about six million years ago, the Mediterranean Sea evaporated, depositing thick layers of salts. The same, salt-saturated fluids could have filled up the Spanish geode, which lies near the coast.

The drying out of the Mediterranean was probably caused by a restriction in the straits of Gibraltar, the sea's only connection with rest of the Earth's oceans.








All photos courtesy of Javier Truebamsf

Post a Comment

Gil Mull said... October 22, 2016 at 10:33 PM

Sounds somewhat reminiscent of the giant selenite crystals in the Cueva de los Cristales, or Cave of Crystals in the Naica mine in northern Mexico.

debi_cleary said... October 27, 2016 at 8:10 AM

How did they get inside of it in the first place ?

. said... October 28, 2016 at 2:57 AM

No gloves to keep from contamination? Not wizards.

J.P K. said... October 29, 2016 at 1:06 AM

I dunno, it can also be inside a warehouse somewhere in Gresham, Oregon.... LoL

Victor Gandumba said... October 29, 2016 at 7:21 PM

Javier Garcia Guinea was my professor, 25 years ago, he was passionate about geology then, he is still now, amazing individual. What a grand finale for a great career. He has numerous publications on anything related to gems, diamonds and precious metals, worth reading every word.

Congrats old friend and colleage

MCSI said... November 22, 2016 at 3:02 AM

If are interested inthe Geode of Pulpi and the cave of the crystals in Mexico, can see for free the documentary The mystery of the giant crystals in this link: http://www.trianatech.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=147&Itemid=131&lang=en Only have to choose the language

Cesar Menor-Salvan said... November 22, 2016 at 9:26 PM

This is not a new finding. The geode was discovered in December 1999 by a group of amateur mineralogists leaded by a mining engineer, not by Prof. García Guinea.

 
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