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   Undertoad  Wednesday Mar 21 11:06 AM

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


Sheldonrs  Wednesday Mar 21 11:26 AM

Looks like a scene from "Journey To The Center Of The Earth".



Chinditz  Wednesday Mar 21 11:27 AM

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.



Pie  Wednesday Mar 21 11:29 AM

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!


glatt  Wednesday Mar 21 11:34 AM

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.



freshnesschronic  Wednesday Mar 21 12:21 PM

At first I was like "cool?" then I saw the dude and exclamated "HOLY SHIT!"



Sheldonrs  Wednesday Mar 21 12:23 PM

Wonder how big the meth is?



Gawa  Wednesday Mar 21 12:34 PM

now...cover the Maserati with those crystals, and THAT would be art!



Trilby  Wednesday Mar 21 12:50 PM

That's what I imagine Stevie Nicks' jewelry box looks like.



monster  Wednesday Mar 21 12:57 PM

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.



Dypok  Wednesday Mar 21 01:19 PM

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.



seakdivers  Wednesday Mar 21 01:30 PM

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.



Shawnee123  Wednesday Mar 21 01:42 PM

.



Sheldonrs  Wednesday Mar 21 01:43 PM

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.


monster  Wednesday Mar 21 01:48 PM

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.



Shawnee123  Wednesday Mar 21 01:57 PM

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.


rkzenrage  Wednesday Mar 21 03:26 PM

Hippie heaven!



Griff  Wednesday Mar 21 03:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawnee123 View Post
Yeah, he's a real flamer.
I wonder if Sheldonrs knows him?


glatt  Wednesday Mar 21 04:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Awesome! I'd seen pics of this cave a few years ago, but nothing like these. Thanks for posting the full sized ones.
Well, my sense of time is way off. It was last summer that I posted a link to pictures of this cave in the keen links thread. The pictures were nothing like this though. These images are amazing.


Sheldonrs  Wednesday Mar 21 05:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff View Post
I wonder if Sheldonrs knows him?
Probably. Do you have any pics of him from behind?


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Mar 21 07:53 PM

Gypsum? Grind 'em up and make drywall.



lumberjim  Wednesday Mar 21 07:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldonrs View Post
Probably. Do you have any pics of him from behind?
oh shit! no you di'int!


bluecuracao  Wednesday Mar 21 09:57 PM

Quote:
The crystals probably grew relatively quickly to their immense size within a completely liquid-filled cavern.
This made me think of an elementary school project my class did in the '70s, where you put minerals or chemicals in an aluminum pie plate with ammonia, and the next day the plate was filled with a bizarre sort of 'rock garden.' Anyone else do that?

They probably don't do that in school anymore--I bet there were a few kids who decided to taste it.


melidasaur  Thursday Mar 22 02:37 PM

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.
coke just came out my nose due to a large laugh!!! thanks.


BigV  Thursday Mar 22 08:44 PM

Admitting on the internet to snorting coke can be a career limiting move, melidasaur.... I'm just sayin...



wolf  Friday Mar 23 02:49 PM

If somebody sings at excatly the right pitch will the whole cavern begin resonating and then collapse, or will you just find the lost chord?



Elspode  Saturday Mar 24 10:21 AM

Frankly, I don't believe that this place exists. This is obviously the result of some secret Mexican government miniaturization program. The subject has clearly stumbled into some salt spilled on a table...



Karenv  Monday Mar 26 11:58 AM

When entering the cave our group is issued helmets, lanterns, rubber boots, and gloves. We are then driven by truck into the main mining tunnel called Rampa Sn. Francisco. While the vertical drop is approximately 1000 feet, the drive is almost a half mile long. The heat steadily increases and the ladies could be observed to begin "glowing". The truck stops in front of a concrete wall with a steel door. I start working frantically to put the final touches on my pre-prepared camera outfit. I usually have four separate camera units, but they must be padded for the trip and then receive a last minute detail check. Every single item is preset before entering the cavern, as every moment inside is precious and concentration must be focused strictly on the crystals and people. The photographic machinery must work perfectly as the heat almost immediately begins to impair brain function.

At the end of the tunnel there are three or four steps into the aperture of the cavern itself. It is in this short tunnel that I move very quickly and concentrate on focusing my mind and that of my group on the task of photography. In this short distance the temperature and humidity goes from being uncomfortably warm to literally a blast furnace. Almost immediately our clothing is so soaked in sweat that it becomes heavy and starts to slide off our bodies. On my first trip it was really hard to keep my pants up, which was a new and unexpected experience.

Momentarily, the penetrating heat is forgotten as the crystals pop into view on the other side of the newly named "Eye of the Queen". The entire panorama is now lighted and the cavern has a depth and impressive cathedral-like appearance that was not visible on earlier trips with just our headlamps.

When inside the great cathedral of crystals, the pressure of intense heat makes my feelings run up and down the emotional scale from shear religious awe to outright panic. The ladies are no longer "glowing" and indeed are "red hot". When I'm done working after three trips into the great cavern, my friends almost have to carry me out. We want to see more, but physically cannot. When the experience is over there is a great relief, but all we can think about is when can we go back in.

When I talk to professional geologists about crystals they tell me that these natural forms are incredibly complex, yet so simple. They have a magical or metaphysical personality independent of their chemical structures. These geologists have explained to me that there is a magma chamber two to three miles below the mountain and that heat from this compressed lava travels through the faults up into the area of the mine. Super heated fluids carry the minerals the miners are seeking as well as form the crystals. The mine is ventilated; otherwise, it could not be worked. Some parts, however, are not air-conditioned, such as the Cave of the Crystals, and there you feel the heat from the magma deep below.



Undertoad  Monday Mar 26 12:37 PM

Jacquelita: Why is it so hot?

UT: *shrug* It must be, like, geothermical.

Jacquelita: Geothermical? That's not a word!



Happy Monkey  Monday Mar 26 01:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenv View Post
When I talk to professional geologists about crystals they tell me that these natural forms are incredibly complex, yet so simple. They have a magical or metaphysical personality independent of their chemical structures. These geologists have explained to me that there is a magma chamber
I'm guessing that the highlighted bit is not from the gologists... hopefully.


MayMayTheDancer  Monday Apr 2 09:04 PM

Wow...

That is so freaking AWESOME! I wasn't really impressed until I saw the guy in the seconde picture, but WOW!



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Apr 3 08:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
I'm guessing that the highlighted bit is not from the gologists... hopefully.
Why not, do gologists have to be soulless to examine rocks? Aren't field scientists supposed to record personal observations?

Welcome to the cellar, MayMayTheDancer.


SeanAhern  Tuesday Apr 3 10:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayMayTheDancer View Post
That is so freaking AWESOME! I wasn't really impressed until I saw the guy in the seconde picture, but WOW!
I had the same reaction. But when I went back to look at the pictures again, I realized that there's a guy even in the first picture. I hadn't noticed him the first time around. And it appears that others missed him as well.


Happy Monkey  Wednesday Apr 4 12:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Why not, do gologists have to be soulless to examine rocks? Aren't field scientists supposed to record personal observations?
What are you talking about?


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Apr 4 01:33 PM

I'm talking about a field geologist making the statement, "They have a magical or metaphysical personality independent of their chemical structures." What's wrong with that?



Happy Monkey  Wednesday Apr 4 01:40 PM

Because that's new-age woo. Nothing to do with soulless or personal observations.



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Apr 4 07:30 PM

Not new age, old age. Crystals, all of them right up to diamonds, have had an effect over and above scientific data, since forever. History shows that over and over. It's not just for wealth, the wealth springs from the desire caused in (wo)men by the crystals, not the other way 'round.



Happy Monkey  Thursday Apr 5 07:24 PM

Yes, they're quite pretty.



rkzenrage  Thursday Apr 5 07:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I'm talking about a field geologist making the statement, "They have a magical or metaphysical personality independent of their chemical structures." What's wrong with that?
Nothing... they should tell us how faeries painted them too.


xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Apr 5 08:36 PM

What for? You souless people wouldn't understand anyway. You'd probably even deny people for eons have coveted these crystals for the effect they have on the human spirit. Pity.



SPUCK  Friday Apr 6 05:07 AM

125K visits for this post???



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Apr 6 08:20 AM

Yes, because.



guttermouth  Monday May 14 06:28 PM

nvm



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday May 15 12:45 PM

'splain, please?



paranoid87  Monday Jun 11 12:27 PM

awesome photos!



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jun 11 12:32 PM

Welcome to the Cellar, paranoid87.



scruffnmee  Thursday Oct 30 02:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenv View Post
When entering the cave our group is issued helmets, lanterns, rubber boots, and gloves. We are then driven by truck into the main mining tunnel called Rampa Sn. Francisco. While the vertical drop is approximately 1000 feet, the drive is almost a half mile long. The heat steadily increases and the ladies could be observed to begin "glowing". The truck stops in front of a concrete wall with a steel door. I start working frantically to put the final touches on my pre-prepared camera outfit. I usually have four separate camera units, but they must be padded for the trip and then receive a last minute detail check. Every single item is preset before entering the cavern, as every moment inside is precious and concentration must be focused strictly on the crystals and people. The photographic machinery must work perfectly as the heat almost immediately begins to impair brain function.

At the end of the tunnel there are three or four steps into the aperture of the cavern itself. It is in this short tunnel that I move very quickly and concentrate on focusing my mind and that of my group on the task of photography. In this short distance the temperature and humidity goes from being uncomfortably warm to literally a blast furnace. Almost immediately our clothing is so soaked in sweat that it becomes heavy and starts to slide off our bodies. On my first trip it was really hard to keep my pants up, which was a new and unexpected experience.

Momentarily, the penetrating heat is forgotten as the crystals pop into view on the other side of the newly named "Eye of the Queen". The entire panorama is now lighted and the cavern has a depth and impressive cathedral-like appearance that was not visible on earlier trips with just our headlamps.

When inside the great cathedral of crystals, the pressure of intense heat makes my feelings run up and down the emotional scale from shear religious awe to outright panic. The ladies are no longer "glowing" and indeed are "red hot". When I'm done working after three trips into the great cavern, my friends almost have to carry me out. We want to see more, but physically cannot. When the experience is over there is a great relief, but all we can think about is when can we go back in.

When I talk to professional geologists about crystals they tell me that these natural forms are incredibly complex, yet so simple. They have a magical or metaphysical personality independent of their chemical structures. These geologists have explained to me that there is a magma chamber two to three miles below the mountain and that heat from this compressed lava travels through the faults up into the area of the mine. Super heated fluids carry the minerals the miners are seeking as well as form the crystals. The mine is ventilated; otherwise, it could not be worked. Some parts, however, are not air-conditioned, such as the Cave of the Crystals, and there you feel the heat from the magma deep below.
Hi Karenv....wanted to find out if you know if the Crystal Caves at the Naica mines are open to the Public to visit. I've read about the extreme, dangerous heat/humidity levels in these caves so I imagine they may not be open to the Public, but thought I would at least ask.

Hoping you might know the answer?


spudcon  Friday Oct 31 10:33 AM

I assume bringing plastic bags full of fresh air into the cave isnt a half baked idea?



Delphine  Wednesday Jan 22 10:45 PM

Yes,your article is what i want to find and i gathered the new information which i need.I'm looking forward your new post.


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