When I first saw these pictures in the National Georgraphic, from inside Mexico's Naica mountain I thought they were awesome but presumed they had been put together by a collage artist like Beth Hoekel, or were stills from a retro science fiction film... but they are very much real!!
Mexico's Cueva de los Crystales (Cave of Crystals) contains some of the worlds larges known columns of crystals, with some of the Selenite (gypsum) topping 36 feet long.
Although the mountains of Naica have been mined for a few hundred years it was only in April 2000 that miner brothers Juan and Pedro Sanchez accidentally discovered the Selinite caves when drilling a new tunnel. After informing their boss, and realizing they had stumbled on something rather fabulous, a new route was planned for the tunnel and the caves have largely been preserved.
The temperature in the caves is extremely high (65 c) as under them lie a giant pool of red hot magma. Sadly this was fatal for one robber attempting to steal crystals who had broken through the metal door into the cave and was found dried out inside with carrier bags of crystal fragments....eek.
So to the most important question......can you visit them... ?
Apparently it is possible to organize supervised visits to the top chambers but as the temperatures and dangers are very real, due to the giant pool of magma, the lower caves are very much restricted access only...
I would be happy with a glimpse... where do i sign up?
|Mexico's Crystal caves: Selenite|