Like Crystal Moonbeams
In April 2000, miners near Chihuahua, Mexico, blasted a tunnel some 1,000 feet [300 m] below the surface of the earth in search of precious metals. As 40-year-old Eloy Delgado wiggled through a small opening, he stumbled upon a cavern filled with gigantic translucent crystals. “It was beautiful,” he said, “like light reflecting off a broken mirror.” Another person said that it seemed as if “moonbeams suddenly took on weight and substance.”
The crystals are believed to be the largest in the world. Some are the size of mature pine trees, being up to 50 feet [15 m] in length and weighing over ten tons! “To see crystals that are so huge and perfect is truly mind-expanding,” said Jeffrey Post, a curator of minerals at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He noted that most crystals on earth are small enough to be held in the palm of your hand.
Describing the formation of these crystals, Smithsonian magazine of April 2002 reported: “Groundwater in these caves, rich with sulfur from the adjacent metal deposits, began dissolving the limestone walls, releasing large quantities of calcium. This calcium, in turn, combined with the sulfur to form crystals on a scale never before seen by humans.”
Although the temperature and humidity inside the caverns may be ideal for crystals, they are brutal for humans. The temperature remains close to 150 degrees Fahrenheit [65°C.], and the humidity, at 100 percent. Explorer Richard Fisher, the first North American to visit the caverns, says: “Stepping into the large cavern is like entering a blast furnace.” He adds that a person can survive these conditions for only about six to ten minutes. After that, the heat and humidity are too much to endure.
The discovery of these immense crystals is yet another reminder of the earth’s awesome wonder and bounty, much of which may still be hidden from our eyes. Do you not agree with the psalmist who declared: “How many your works are, O Jehovah! All of them in wisdom you have made. The earth is full of your productions”?—Psalm 104:24.
[Picture Credit Line on page 31]
All pictures: © Richard D. Fisher