Largest crystal cave in the world
The remote part of northern Mexico near the town of Naica in the region of Chihuahua is famous for the Giant Crystal Cave (Spanish: Cueva de los Cristales), which is the largest crystal cave in the world. The Giant Crystal Cave was discovered as late as in 2000 and is situated close to the Naica mine, one of Mexico’s most productive, yielding tons of lead and silver each year.
The Giant Crystal Cave Mexico is located 300 metres below ground level. Inside the cave the temperature is extremely 50-55 degree celsius and the humidity is around 90-100%. Due to these climatic conditions most of the caverns are still unexplored.
Largest Crystals in the World
The main chamber has giant selenite crystals (gypsum, CaSO4·2 H2O) which are some of the world’s largest natural crystals ever found. The cave’s largest crystal found to date is 12 meters in length, 4 meters in diameter and incredible 55 tons in weight. The crystals are considered to be 500,000 years old.
The caverns are situated above an underground magma chamber. Due to the heat from the magma, the temperature of the ground water remained very stable at over 50 °C. This forced the water to be saturating with minerals including gypsum. This process allowed crystals to form and grow to the extraordinary sizes we see today.
Giant Crystal Cave Documentary
A group of scientists known as the Naica Project have been studying these caverns. The scientists were descending into this strange world of darkness and heat. During the research the scientists were filming inside the giant crystal caves providing an amazing documentary video for BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic. Entering the cave is like an extreme journey to the center of the Earth. It is indeed extreme exploration and without proper equipment you might be in dangerous troubles already within 10-15 minutes.
The researchers found evidence for the existence of further chambers, however they were impossible to reach without destroying some of the giant crystals. So it is very plausible that even larger crystals might be hidden in these unexplored caverns. Some of the pictures below are from this research expedition.
Read also: Pre-historical Life in the Bulgarian Caves
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