Sunday, November 28, 2010

Big




I've done a post about size scale and the Crystal Caves before, but above are 3 reasons to return to the subject.

Boulder, 50' high (2nd image)
When the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted earlier this year, this giant rock - estimated to weigh 1,000 tons - was released when a glacier was melted by the heat. The meltwater flood swept it down the mountainside and onto the valley floor. This is one of more than 10,000 images of the volcanic event taken over several weeks by Icelandic photographer Ragnar Sigurdsson, who describes, "Personally my favourite picture is an aerial shot of the crater taken while flying at low altitude in high wind speeds and the door of the plane taken off so I didn't have to shoot through glass. I could feel the heat of the volcano against my face as we made our pass."

Driftwood, 200' long (3rd image)
This giant western red cedar was one of dozens of trees washed up on the beach of La Push, Washington, U.S.A. Photographer Philip Lacham is dwarfed by its 13' diameter as he stands next to it. Park officials said a combination of a strong gale and high tide carried the trees from Olympic National Park in the state's northwest corner.

Crystals, 55 tons (1st image)
In this photo, scientists are wearing special cooling suits to explore a series of deadly hot Mexican caves lined with enormous crystal formations up to 35' long. The caverns formed 1,000' beneath the Chihuahuan Desert in temperatures of 118° Fahrenheit and 90% humidity. The gypsum crystals formed in scorching water heated by underground magma chambers. That water has been pumped out since 2000, when the mining company that owns the land discovered the Cave of Crystals, but will soon be allowed to flood the caverns again. Scientific teams have had opportunities in 2008 and 2009 to explore. Ontario astrophysicist Sara Poirier observed, "When you're in the caves, you're overwhelmed by the [harsh] conditions, but you're also overwhelmed by the beauty, and it's really hard to maintain your focus." "It's funny, because when you look at the pictures of us in there in the suits, it looks like we're in an ice chamber, but it's just the reverse," added Penelope Boston, of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

2 comments:

  1. Those images are fantastic!

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  2. These are amazing! I love the crystals... they look unreal!

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