From sea creatures to cityscapes, minerals are everywhere.
9 Minerals That Totally Rock
Published July 19, 2017
On Screen : These nine minerals aren’t just pretty, they can do amazing things!
Brittlestars have calcite crystals built into their skeletons. The crystals act as lenses and focus light onto nerve bundles to allow the animals to see.
Stibnite was used to make kohl, an eye cosmetic worn by ancient Egyptians. They believed it could cure ailments.
Azurite was once a popular source of pigment in blue paint. Over time azurite oxidizes into its green cousin:
So the blue some Renaissance era paintings is now tinted green.
Some fluorite is thermoluminescent, which means it glows when heated to certain temperatures.
Astronaut visors are coated with a thin layer of gold. It doesn’t corrode and protects astronauts’ eyes from dangerous solar rays
“Fools gold,” has been studied as a possible component in solar panels because it’s cheaper and more readily available than silicon.
These spectacular colors come from a phenomenon called labradorescence. Rather than reflecting off the exterior, light bounces off surfaces inside the rock.
Aquatic snails called limpets have teeth laced with nanofibers of goethite. These teeth are so strong they could chew through a bulletproof vest.
From sea creatures to cityscapes, amazing minerals are everywhere.
- Digital Editor, Writer
- Drew Gannon
- Digital Producer
- Saad Amer
FOOTAGE AND STILLS
- Original Footage
- Brittle Star
- Dr. Joanna Aizenberg
- Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints
- Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Golden Mask of Tutankhamen
- Wikimedia/Carsten Frenzi
- Common limpet
- Rob Tinworth