Wednesday 6 December 2017


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A beautiful, mineralogically interesting, specimen of OBSIDIAN in two pieces.

This is a beach find from the volcanic Italian island of Lipari. I found it on the shoreline of Canneto, a small town on this Aeolian Island. When I cleaved it, the obsidian displayed the phenomenal stratified cristobalite spherulites you can see in the photos. 

These linearly-arranged inclusions are globular, very interesting under a microscope (nested), and contrast beautifully with the deep-black glassy obsidian. They are aligned within the specimen, as they were forming in the viscous glass lava flow, just as the obsidian lava flow "froze".

This probably took place around 1400 years ago, from either the Rocche Rosse or Forgia Vecchia craters (Keller, 1970), as can be gathered from the RRuff reference pdf - here

Although obsidian is relatively common on Lipari (its 15th century castle is built on a cliff of obsidian), this was one of the best specimens I obtained there. The cristobalite spheres shows the orientation of the lava flow admirably. I had to have it, and brought it back (in hand luggage!) from my first visit to the Aeolian Islands in 2006. If you're into volcanic mineral specimens, please have a look at the 50 second video below -

The specimen is in two fitting parts, the larger being approximately 8 x 7 x 6 cm, the smaller approximately 6 x 5 x 4 cm.

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"Hodges emitted a scream the like of which
I hadn't heard since his scrotum was burned off
during my experiment with fluorine gas last year."

The Exotic Experimentation of Ernest Glitch,
Victorian Science with a Smile

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Unrelated to this post, below is an example of
eclectic science esoterica 

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WARNING - Many subjects outlined within this site are extremely dangerous and are provided here for information only. Please don`t experiment with high voltages or chemicals unless you are fully conversant with safe laboratory practices. No liability will be accepted for death, injury or damage arising from experimentation using any information or materials supplied.