Sep 15, 2013

Picture of the Day: Mexico’s Giant Crystal Cave

 

MEXICO’S GIANT CRYSTAL CAVE

 

giant-crystal-cave-Naica-mexico

 

Cave of the Crystals or Giant Crystal Cave (Spanish: Cueva de los Cristales) is a cave connected to the Naica Mine 300 meters (980 ft) below the surface in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico. The main chamber contains giant selenite crystals, and are some of the largest natural crystals ever found. The cave’s largest crystal found to date is 12 m (39 ft) in length, 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and 55 tons in weight. [Source]

The cave is extremely hot with air temperatures reaching up to 58 °C (136 °F) with 90 to 99 percent humidity. The cave is relatively unexplored due to these factors. Without proper protection people can only endure approximately ten minutes of exposure at a time. A group of scientists known as the Naica Project have been heavily involved in researching these caverns. [Source]

The Giant Crystal cave was discovered in 2000 by miners excavating a new tunnel for the Industrias Peñoles mining company located in Naica, Mexico. The Cave of Crystals is a horseshoe-shaped cavity in limestone. Its floor is covered with perfectly-faceted crystalline blocks. Huge crystal beams jut out from both the blocks and the floor. The caves are accessible today because the mining company’s pumping operations keep them clear of water. If the pumping were stopped, the caves would again be submerged. The crystals deteriorate in air, so the Naica Project is attempting to visually document the crystals before they deteriorate further. [Source]

 

 

picture of the day button Picture of the Day: Mexicos Giant Crystal Cave

 

 

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