Unbelievable Real Life: The Crystal Cave of Giants

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

My husband and I love caves. I’ve been to the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, together we visited Luray Caverns in Virginia, and we’ve even been spelunking at Metcalfe Rock near Collingwood, Ontario. So we’ve seen a lot of crystal formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. We’ve never seen ones big enough to walk on like a bridge.

Image Credit: Alexander Van Driessche, used under Creative Commons license

Image Credit: Alexander Van Driessche, used under Creative Commons license

Welcome back to my Unbelievable Real Life feature, where I showcase weird creatures and offbeat places on our planet that seem like they should belong in a fantasy or science fiction story. Today we’re going to the Crystal Cave of Giants in the Naica Mine in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Take a look…

You’re close to 1,000 feet below the surface in this mine, and some of the gypsum crystals are four feet around (I’m only 5 foot 2 inches tall!) and 35 to 50 feet long (that’s the width of a high school basketball court). They can weigh up to 55 tons.

After their discovery in 2000, the question became how did they get so big?

One of the geologists who discovered them studied tiny pockets of fluid inside the crystals and concluded that the caves were once filled with water that stayed at a stable temperature and was rich in minerals. The water is long gone, but the crystals that formed over thousands of years remain.

Sadly these mines aren’t open to the public. Would you want to go if they were?

If you like suspense, I hope you’ll take a look at my ebook Frozen. Twisted sleepwalking. A frozen goldfish in a plastic bag. And a woman afraid she’s losing her grip on reality.

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