Stories tagged caves

Oct
28
2008

A gypsum crystal: This crystal, less than a foot tall, can still focus a tremendous amount of chi. Think about what a 36-footer could do!
A gypsum crystal: This crystal, less than a foot tall, can still focus a tremendous amount of chi. Think about what a 36-footer could do!Courtesy Tjflex2
You heard it here first, y’all (unless you heard it somewhere else first): there’s a cave 1000 feet below the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, full of crystals dozens of feet long, and thousands of pounds in weight. At least one of the crystals, made of gypsum, is 36 feet long, and weighs over 55 tons. Think of all the powerful spiritual energy there!

The massive crystals grew so large thanks to the 138-degree, mineral-rich water that used to flow through the cave. This mineral soup was perfect for making mega crystals, but lead to the deaths of dozens of New Age crystal prospectors and treasure seeking paladins. (This is an assumption based on my somewhat limited knowledge of crystals and caves.)

The caves were uncovered by miners excavating a new tunnel for a lead and silver mine in the Naica mountain. This happened back in 2000, but I only read about it today, because a story on it will appear (or appears) in the November issue of National Geographic. (Check out those links, by the way—they have pictures, and the caves do look awesome.)

National Geographic has some super sweet photos of a huge river cave in Laos. Check it all out here.

Sep
25
2007

Skylights to possible Mars caves

NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has discovered entrances to seven possible caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano.

Hot spots

Mars "caves": Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/USGS
Mars "caves": Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/USGS
Using infrared imaging, the holes showed up as bright "hot spots" in photos taken during the cold of night (see right hand photo). In daytime shots they were colder than their surroundings (middle photo). The left photo uses the visable spectrum. This possible cave skylight informally called "Annie," has a diameter about double the length of a football field.

Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters
Seven Sisters
The discovered holes, dubbed "Seven Sisters," are at some of the highest altitudes on the planet, on a volcano named Arsia Mons near Mars' tallest mountain.

What are they?

A report of the discovery of the possible cave skylights by Cushing and his co-authors was published online recently by the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The new report proposes that the deep holes on Arsia Mons probably formed as underground stresses around the volcano caused spreading and faults that opened spaces beneath the surface. Some of the holes are in line with strings of bowl-shaped pits where surface material has apparently collapsed to fill the gap created by a linear fault. NASA.gov.