Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SO, just what the heck is a thunder egg, anyway??

Thunder eggs are the state gemstone of Oregon. According to Native American legend, the gods would steal the thunderbird's eggs and throw them at each other in anger during thunderstorms. The geologically more accurate, but much less colorful, story is that they were gas pockets in rhyolitic lava flows. Over millions of years, silica (quartz) and other minerals seeped in, partially filling the pockets to create geodes - or totally filling them to create thundereggs. This is what they look like on the outside. Very unassuming! What's amazing is that they have this very distinctive pattern of squares around the outside with a rounded top and bottom. I'm not sure what causes this pattern to form but they reminded me somewhat of really old cannon balls that have been buried and have corroded over time. The exterior pattern made them look man-made, if primitive.

Anyway, some of them are very boring when you cut them open - like flat opaque quartz. Others are stunning. Here are some of mine that have been cut open. These aren't even the prized ones. We could only get to two of the nine beds they had and the bed we ended up going to had this type, which are considered just run-of-the-mill pretty. I still think they're very cool, though, and would like to go back at some point with a 4x4 vehicle to visit some of the other beds. If you're an adventurous type and enjoy doing odd things outdoors, I highly recommend doing this.... But then, maybe I'm just easily amused?

1 comment:

Lemon Dingo said...

Oh...my boys would love that. They look awesome.