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Largest Crystals in the world...
Giant Cave Crystals of the Naica Mine

In 2000, the largest, most spectacularly-formed natural selenite crystals in the world were discovered 1,000 feet deep in a Mexican volcano. The translucent beams are as big as four feet across, with some of them as long as 36 feet and weighing as much as 55 tons. The photo at left is of two scientists in protective gear collecting data and samples in the cavern where the crystals have been discovered. You can really get an appreciation of the enormous size of the crystals when you compare them to the size of the people in the photo.

Visit the Naica Mine website for lots of breathtaking photos of the giant cave crystals.

The crystals were discovered by two mine workers in 2000 who had been sent to excavate further into the mine to search for more silver, zinc, and lead deposits. Back in 1910, workers had discovered another spectacular crystal cave in the Naica mine, but at a shallower depth of 400 feet. Called the 'Cave of Swords' it is filled with many more breathtaking crystals, but they are much, much smaller - only about 3 feet long. The size of the crystals discovered in the lower cavern, along with the incredible variety of the crystal shapes, makes it the most spectacular and unique find of its kind anywhere in the world.

Incredible Crystal Nursery

giant cave crystalsThe Cave of Crystals is one of many natural voids deep in the heart of the Naica volcano that was once flooded with heated water. Magma beneath the volcano heated groundwater that flows naturally into these underground crevices and caverns. In order to create the gigantic selenite crystals a lot of gypsum was needed, so where did it come from? Approximately 26 million years ago the Naica volcano was formed by the movement of magma deep within the earth - magma that was extremely rich in a mineral called anhydrite. Anhydrite is a form of gypsum that exists only at high temperatures and is different from these gypsum crystals because it contains no water. In order for gypsum crystals to form, the temperature of the water in the caverns needed to cool down, but not too much. Scientists who've studied the crystals determined that the giant crystals formed because of two very important conditions. Read more...

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