Messinian Salinity Crisis!

Huge crystal cave found in Spain:

Normal-sized geodes rarely extend beyond the palm of one's hand. This one, however, reaches a staggering eight metres long, can fit up to 10 people inside it and is chock-full of prisms.

Javier Garcia-Guinea, the geologist from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research in Madrid who found the cave, can find no other reference anywhere in the world to a geode of such enormous size. The abundant hydrous calcium sulphate deposits, better-known as gypsum crystals, are about a half-metre in length.

Geologists suspect the cave could have formed about six million years ago during the Messinian salinity crisis. During this event the Mediterranean was evaporating, leaving behind massive amounts of salt. The cave may have filled with the same salt water that also would have produced thick salt layers, which, in turn, could have seeded the crystal deposits.


14 Responses:

  1. tjcrowley says:

    Messinian Salinity Crisis!

    That's the name of my new band.

  2. neevita says:

    That's really amazing. Sorta like my imagination sprang to life when I saw the pictures, I used to have a tiny one and imagined what it would be like to shrink to size and climb around in it.

    It must be worth an absolute fortune, I've wanted to get another geode for years but can't justify the rather ridiculous expense for the larger ones.

  3. baconmonkey says:

    that looks like the set of so many 70's sci-fantasy movies.

  4. dzm6 says:

    This is clearly a prototype for Superman's more ambitious structure.

  5. crasch says:

    For a second, I thought they had discovered the secret Pop Rocks mining operation...

  6. cuneiforms says:

    That's so mind boggling it almost looks fake!

  7. wilecoyote says:

    Ah, it's from *2000*. I was wondering why I hadn't read about it in the spanish press.

    ([NITPICK] And Almeria is in southern Spain, not in the northeast. [/NITPICK]).

  8. veraspeak says:

    Wow. This is amazing. Thanks for posting!

  9. anaisdjuna says:

    Wildly cool!

    hee.hee. Forgive me for this, but.....

    Thanks for posting...Those pictures Rock!