What is 36 feet long and weighs the same as 39 VW Beetles? Yupp, a crystal.
So what is a crystal and how the heck can it get that big?
Crystals get their unique structure from the way their molecules, ions or atoms are arranged. The arrangement can be in one of seven categories of crystal structure or lattice. Minerals form the backbone of these Fraggle Rockian structures, and most minerals can be found as crystals.
According to the Smithsonian:
“the root for crystal comes from the Greek word krystallos-ice-because the ancient Greeks believed clear quartz was ice frozen so hard it could not melt”
Much like yellow snow, it’s the impurities within the crystals which give them their color, otherwise many would be colorless. In man-made crystal, lead is the impurity added to give the glass color and reflection.
Two of the largest crystal deposits are located in North America: The Cave of Crystals buried below Naica mountain in the Chihuahuan desert contains beams of crystals 36 feet long weighing up to 55 tons (approximately 39 VW Beetles) and has been dubbed the Sistine Chapel of crystals; and Ursa Minor a giant cave in California’s Sequoia National Park. These two locations harbor the perfect conditions for creating monstrous crystals.