50 foot long single spar crystals
March 26, 2002 9:04 AM   Subscribe

50 foot long single spar crystals found in a Mexican cave 1,000 feet below the surface! Smithsonian has links to other related sites. This one has pictues. More pictures can be found in the April 2002 print issue of Smithsonian.
posted by onhazier (11 comments total)
Neat post, but... that cavern is 140 degrees F, with 100 percent humidity. Where would I ever find clothing to wear into a place like that?
posted by coelecanth at 9:36 AM on March 26, 2002

Yes, neat, and also rather otherwordly. Underground caverns, oppressive heat, the smell of sulphur and bizarre, towering structures in organic and geometric forms - the cavern sounds very much like some classical depictions of hell. What are the chances that, way-back-when, similar caverns inspired that particular meme?
posted by yhbc at 9:42 AM on March 26, 2002

In the time it took to download that site with the pictures, I could have formed my own crystal cavern the natural way. Coelecanth, check out the gal in that picture: she's scrawny, she's wearing shorts, and she's sweating up a storm. It's a prehistoric schvitz!
posted by Faze at 10:19 AM on March 26, 2002

Actually my point was that the second link was to an online retailer of expedition gear and clothing. Read down to the middle of the article:

Speaking of heat and humidity, RailRiders accompanied the intrepid adventurer underground. He wore our Expedition Shirt and Approach Shorts. "Extreme conditions demand comfortable, high-tech clothing," said Fisher. "Thank God, they are so quick-drying. When I got out of the cavern and above ground, my soaking-wet shirt and shorts immediately became dry again."

The crystals are neat, though.
posted by coelecanth at 10:43 AM on March 26, 2002

Here's another article with an image -- it really gets the scale across.
posted by Vacaloca at 1:23 PM on March 26, 2002

Boy, whatever you do, don't put your hand in the three-fingered activator.
posted by dhartung at 1:35 PM on March 26, 2002

Here's another article from a Mexican Magazine. The images are from the last cave, the most dificult to take pictures.

One of my cousins work in that mine. I ask him about how dificult is to be in that cave. His answer?

"Boil a bucket of water. Put your face on top. Try to keep it in that position for a minute"

The pictures of the railriders are from the first cave. Is a very small one and is not dificul to stay there (the temperature is like a sauna).

The pictures of the Mexican Magazine is from the second cave, that's the big one and is very dificult to visit.
posted by sglez at 5:37 PM on March 26, 2002

Feel The Power
posted by stbalbach at 5:42 PM on March 26, 2002

selenite rocks :) fortress of solitude!
posted by kliuless at 5:57 PM on March 26, 2002

Curses! I wanted to make the first Fortress of Solitude gag!
posted by Down10 at 11:46 PM on March 27, 2002

i was just thinking it's really hot down there though. bizarro fortress of solitude!
posted by kliuless at 4:11 PM on March 28, 2002

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