The Cave of Giant Crystals

“Es como un sueño de niño,” he says. “It is like a child’s dream.”

Sometimes science fact looks like science fiction! Fans of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” or anyone familiar with Superman’s Fortress of Solitude will love this!

Cave of the Crystals is connected to the Naica Mine nearly 1000 feet below the surface of the earth in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico. The main chamber contains giant selenite (aka gypsum) crystals, up to 40 feet long and weighing more than 50 tons. 

Scottish geologist Iain Stewart visits the extraordinary Giant Crystal Cave in this video:

Anyone entering this cave must wear a specially designed refrigerated suit. With 99 percent humidity and 100 degree temperatures, the atmosphere is suffocating. (That’s literally what the climate was inside our house during the summer when our air conditioner wasn’t working – I wish I’d had one of those suits then!)

As the cavern progresses deeper into the earth, the temperature continues to rise as high as 139 degrees, as it gets closer to a pool of magma that lies about a mile beneath.

Despite the heavy gear (inlaid with ice packs) that they are required to wear, visitors may spend only a maximum of twenty minutes (most don’t last longer than ten) down in the cavern before they become vulnerable to heat related health concerns from the extreme conditions.

The Cave of the Crystals wasn’t discovered until 2000, though a similar cave with relatively smaller selenite crystals was discovered nearby in 1910. There is comprehensive website devoted to the Crystal Caves with geology, history, photos and videos: http://www.naica.com.mx/english/index.htm

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