Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pretty Rocks


I visited the Lafayette Science Museum in Louisiana the other day. There were various exhibits including space travel, fossils and dinosaurs. They also had a display of framed photographs of penguins, very well done.

What caught my attention probably more than anything, except maybe the penguins, was the display on rocks. Well, they weren't just rocks, they were crystal formations, quartz, calcites, some gemstones and geodes. Geodes are round rocks that had a void space inside that allowed the formation of crystals that cover the inside of the rock. If they had been allowed to keep growing, the crystals would consume the entire interior of the rock. They could be different colors, as seen below.


Also on display was a piece of tree trunk that was petrified, as well as a slice of a tree trunk that showed the interior. Surprisingly, you can see that it looks more like a rock than part of a tree. Throughout the time it petrifies, water flows through it and minerals replace the organic matter of the tree. Different colors are formed by different minerals.


One of the prettiest was a piece of opal, in rough form, but you can recognize the gemstone that is used in jewelry.


This was a small museum, and I found myself wishing it had more minerals, quartz and other pretty rocks to display. I'm sure in my travels, I'll find another museum with rock displays.


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