The Mystery of the Giant Crystals

Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm 

Yale Peabody Museum
Free admission

In 2000 the world was taken by storm by the news of huge gypsum crystals—up to 36 feet long—discovered in a lead and silver mine in Naica, Mexico. Almost immediately the quest was on to learn how such uniquely large and remarkably beautiful crystals could form. By 2007 a research team led by Dr. Juan Manuel Garcia Ruiz of the University of Granada in Spain had solved the mystery. One of the team’s major frustrations was the difficulty of getting high quality photographs in the hellish environment, where temperatures hovered around 135 °F at 100% humidity! To solve this problem, Dr. Garcia Ruiz sought the help of Spanish documentary director Javier Trueba. The fruit of their collaboration is a film that takes the viewer on a fascinating journey around the world, from Spain to Chile, and all the way up to the pinnacle of mineral genesis at Naica. In this presentation, Dr. Garcia Ruiz will screen the film and discuss the science behind the Naica crystals.

Part of Nature's Narrators: The 2010–2011 John H. Ostrom Program Series