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The Kid Should See This

Spain’s crystal cave, the giant gypsum geode of Pulpí

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Take a video field trip to La Geoda de Pulpí, the giant Pulpí Geode located in Mina Rica, an abandoned lead, iron, and silver mine in Spain. The 11 cubic meter (390 ft³) crystal cave boasts 2 meter (over 6 foot) long translucent crystals made of selenite gypsum.

In the subtitled BBC Reel video above, geologist Mila Carretero introduces this wonder of nature. She compares it with a handheld geode that you might find in a science museum shop, a geode kit, or out in nature where they naturally occur: “riverbeds, limestone areas, or volcanic ash beds of deserts.”

handheld geode
Geologist Mila Carretero
Research published in March of 2022 established that the Giant Geode of Pulpí is 165,000 years old. And though Carretero mentions seawater in the cave, findings indicate that the crystal cave was formed “from rainwater that infiltrated the aquifer and was loaded with salts (sulphate and calcium) when it came into contact with the geological materials of the Sierra del Aguilón, where it is found.”

crystal cave
The video also shares the mine’s archaeological finds, carvings and artifacts from the miners who worked in Mina Rica. The mine was established in 1840 and was closed before the Pulpí Geode was discovered by explorers in 1999.

Via Forbes in 2019, when it first became a tourist destination, “the geode of Pulpí stopped growing almost 60,000 years ago.” Today, the University of Almeria compares visitor numbers with temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels in the cave to help to protect the crystals from deterioration.

crawling through the entrance
Watch these related videos next:
• Gems, Minerals, Crystals, and Rocks: What’s the Difference?
• Giant amethyst geodes, the Singing Stone, and a fluorescent rock slab
• What are rocks and how do they form?
• Incredible Egg Geodes: How to make these crystallized wonders
• Crystal Habit, an up-close look at seven stunning minerals
• The Great Stalacpipe Organ deep in Luray Caverns
• Go inside an ice cave to see nature’s most beautiful blue

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