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What are rocks and how do they form?

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What are rocks and how do they form? What is the rock cycle? Why are rocks different colors? What are the different layers inside our planet?

“From towering mountains to the gravel and pebbles along a river, Earth’s solid exterior is made of a huge variety of rocks. Some are even being formed this very moment as active volcanoes spew lava that hardens as it hits the atmosphere or ocean.”

rock cycle

“But most of the Earth’s rocks are extremely old. Each rock is a shapeshifter, changing form over time with a history that can span millions of years.

“And here’s what geologists and rock climbers and your aunt with a collection of heart-shaped rocks know that lots of us overlook: one rock is not just like any other.”

Climate researcher and Crash Course host Alizé Carrère shares how different kinds of rocks form, as well as some Earth basics, in this Crash Course Geography video. The 11-minute episode is one of almost 50 in the series.

minerals and rocks

Watch these related geology and geography videos next:
• Earth’s Hydrosphere and Geosphere + Weathering and Erosion
• Everything You Need to Know About Planet Earth
• How deep have humans dug into the Earth?
• Speed up geologic time with a DIY squeeze box
• Stoney and Silty, the Sediment Superheroes of Myanmar
• What counts as a mountain?

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