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Botryoidal? Let's get nerdy!

We are on this journey of learning and the goal is to take you guys along with us. Sometimes you read an article or watch an instructional video but the information just flies right over your head because the words they are using are just too "sciency" or black and white. It's the difference between a doctor discussing an operation with a colleague versus their patient. There's a translation from technical terms to something everyone can understand.

Today we want to talk about the botryoidal formation of rocks. Botryoidal is one of many specific ways a crystal is formed. This type is typically comprised of a cluster of round pearl-like formations. The word actually comes from the ancient Greek word Botrys which means bunch of grapes. It's not hard to see where the similarities lie.

What causes them to form begins millions, sometimes billions, of years ago when several nuclei, sand, dust and other particulates get trapped inside a cavity/hole of another host rock. A geode, for instance, was once a hollow gas bubble of magma that over time water found its way in and out of through small fractures of the hardened rock leaving layer upon layers of minerals. When the particulates mentioned above got in these cavities the mineralization would form around them and continue growing layer by layer until they fused together like a clump of frog eggs.

Without the impurities such as sand and dust the bubbly structure could not be formed. Imagine putting several marbles (symbolizing the particulate matter) in a jar (symbolizing the host rock) and every day you filled the jar with paint and then emptied it (symbolizing evaporation). Eventually enough paint would form around the marbles (symbolizing mineralization) to where they would be so big that they'd start fusing together (symbolizing botryoidal).

I hope you learned something here. If you did, then please consider following us on YouTube where we document most of our adventures and learning experiences. Here is our latest video where we happen to find lots of botryoidal:

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