Crystals are really awesome to look at, but they’re really interesting too. We’re going to take a look at how they form, what type of crystals you get and way more.
Keep reading for some awesome crystal facts.
What Are Crystals? Crystals are a special kind of solid material where the molecules fit together in a pattern that keeps repeating itself. Because of these patterns crystals from all sorts of unique shapes.
How Do Crystals Form?
The process of crystals forming is called crystallization. Crystals mostly form in nature when liquids cool, like magma, and then start to harden slowly. Certain atoms in the liquid cling to each other by electrical forces as they try and become stable. They do this in that pattern that repeats itself that we spoke about earlier to form the crystal.
There are heaps of really valuable crystals like diamonds, emeralds and rubies, and this is how these crystals form. You need to go crystal hunting!
Another way crystals form is when water evaporates from a chemical mixture. Salt crystals often form as salt water evaporates.
What Shapes do Crystals Form?
There are all sorts of shapes that make crystals so cool.
- Cubic shape – these look like a box and can have 6, 8 or even 12 sides. Wow!
- Hexagonal or trigonal shape – these have 3 or 6 sides.
- Monoclinic shape – these look a bit like a box with lots of different sides.
- Orthorhombic shape – these almost look like two pyramids are stuck together.
- Tetragonal shape – these look like a cube but have one longer side.
- Triclinic crystals – these have a random shape and most likely aren’t in equal proportions.
What Types of Interesting Crystals do you get?
- Snowflakes– these are ice crystals which are formed high up in the clouds when water freezes. They always have six sides, but every single one of them is unique. That’s quite amazing that every single snowflake is different.
- Timing crystals– When an electric current is sent through some crystal, they vibrate at a very specific rate. Quartz crystals are used in watches and other electronics to keep accurate time. How cool is that? Crystals are used to keep our watches showing the right time!
- Quartz– Quartz is a common mineral and crystal. It is one of the hardest crystals. The gemstone amethyst is a type of quartz which is purple.
- Diamonds – Diamonds are extremely valuable, in fact one of the most valuable crystals on Earth. But they aren’t just used for that seriously expensive jewelry; they are also used for special tools like diamond saws. Sounds a bit strange doesn’t it. But the reason for this is that it is the hardest material on Earth.
Fun Facts About Crystals
- Here’s a word to wrap your head around! Crystallography. Well this is the science of studying crystals and how they form. Think you would want to go into crystallography to learn all about awesome crystals?
- A lot of computer screens use liquid crystals for their display.
- Crystals are used loads in jewelry for their sparkly look and heaps of different colors.
- The charges of crystals when they are forming must equal zero. They won’t form if there are positive and negative charges.
- Some of the largest crystals in the world have been found in the Cave of Crystals in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico!
Now you should know all about crystals and how they form. You should go crystal hunting and maybe you’ll find something valuable, you never know!
Words You Need to Know
- Atom – this is a basic unit of any element.
- Charge – a type of electrical charge – it can be positive or negative.
- Mineral – this is something that is the same all the way through.