S+ Stimulant: Fulgurite


Fulgurites (from the Latin fulgur, meaning “thunderbolt”) are a variety of the mineraloid lechatelierite. Sometimes referred to as petrified lightning, they are natural hollow glass tubes formed by lightning strikes in quartzose sand, silica, or soil.

Before man figured out how to craft glass, nature was already making it. When lightning strikes sand, the heat sometimes fuses the sand into long slender glass tubes called fulgurites.  This process occurs over a timespan of around one second and leaves evidence of the lightning path and its dispersion over the surface or into the earth. Similarly, the intense heat of a volcanic eruption sometimes fuses rocks and sand into a glass called obsidian. In early times, people shaped obsidian into knives, arrowheads, jewelry, and money.

Fulgurites are the next best thing to holding a lightning bolt in your hand.



[source: wikipedia]

Published: January 7th, 2014

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