Giant Crystal Cave Facts
- The Giant Crystal Cave or Cave of Crystal Giants names a true marvel of geology.
- It sits roughly 1000 ft (300 m) beneath the surface, outside of Chihuahua, Mexico, in North America. The site was accidentally discovered in 2000.
- The proximity of the incredible site to a nearby magma chamber makes it impossible to visit this geologist’s paradise without protective gear.
- In fact, the temperature and humidity are so high that the heat index is 228 degrees Fahrenheit (105 C).
Giant Crystal Cave Description
The Incredible Giant Crystal Cave serves as home to the largest crystals on earth – some as large as 34 ft (11 m) long and weighing 55 tons. They are composed of selenite that a nearby magma chamber deposited over the centuries.
These enormous and impressive crystals formed as a result of heated groundwater being saturated with sulfide ions. Much colder surface water leaked down and contacted the mineral-saturated hot water.
Yet the two did not mix due to the difference in their densities. Hydrated sulfates formed at an extremely slow rate over the course of at least 500,000 years, forming the enormous crystals
Exploration of the Giant Crystal Cave
Due to the extreme conditions within the Giant Crystal Cave, humans still know very little about it.
The cave has a roughly horseshoe shape and lies within an enormous limestone deposit. Also, faceted crystalline blocks cover the floor, and the enormous crystalline beams protrude through these.
When the cave originally discovered, water filled the inside. The cave is accessible now only because the nearby mining operation which discovered it keeps pumping the water away.
Only authorized scientific researchers have access permits, due to the conditions, and the fact that the crystals have started to slowly deteriorate from exposure to the air.