Bookmark and Share

Life in Crystals

An Italian research team found ancient pollen sealed in the colossal crystals in a lead and silver mine in northern Mexico. The team, led by mineralogist Paolo Forti (U of Bologna, Italy), suspected that the selenite crystals, some as long as 11 meters, could contain pollen that was in the area when they formed several hundred thousand years ago.

The pollen may help scientists reconstruct ancient climates and vegetation cover in the northern region of the Chihuahua desert. Forti's team is now using radiometric dating to get a definitive age for the crystals.

From Random Samples, Constance Holden, ed.