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Gigantic Mexican Megacrystals Created by Climate Change

Posted By Ariel Schwartz On January 18, 2010 @ 12:13 pm In Art,global warming | 10 Comments

naica, gypsum, mexico, mines, climate change

We spend a lot of time covering man-made designs, but everyone once in awhile it’s nice to remember that nature [1] isn’t such a bad designer either. Case in point: these 11 meter-long gypsum megacrystals discovered in caves near Chihuahua, Mexico. The massive crystals were formed over the last 200,000 years due to climate change [2].

naica, gypsum, mexico, mines, climate change [3]

The local climate shift [4] from wet to dry trapped water inside the crystals. At the same time, evaporation during dry spells clumped calcium into surface water. As the local climate swung from one extreme to the other over the years, calcium continued to build up. Eventually, enough calcium became available to build the megacrystals.

So while climate change may not be good for the human race, it’s undoubtedly been the source of some beautiful natural designs in the past — and that’s something both sides of the global warming debate can agree on.

Via New Scientist [5]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/gigantic-mexican-megacrystals-created-by-climate-change/

URLs in this post:

[1] nature: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/10/10/antarctic-icebergs-make-their-own-art/

[2] climate change: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/12/09/wmo-confirms-that-there-is-no-slowdown-in-global-warming/

[3] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=81279

[4] climate shift: http://www.inhabitat.com/global-warming/

[5] New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527434.100-mexican-megacrystals-formed-by-climate-backandforth.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=environment

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