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Life and Rocks May Have Co-Evolved on Earth

Perhaps your pet rock has a little more life than you thought.

smithsonianmag.com

At a Christmas party ten years ago, an idea was brewing in Robert Hazen’s mind. Hazen was a self-proclaimed “hard core” mineral physicist at the time, and like most scientists (and players of 20 Questions), he considered mineral to be a totally separate beast from animal and vegetable. But that was soon to change.

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Folded pegmatite vein in Farmington Canyon Complex gneiss, Pearsons Canyon, Box Elder County. Pearsons Canyon, Box Elder County, Utah Photographer: Adam McKean; © 2014

POTD July 7, 2015: Pearsons Canyon, Box Elder County, Utah

What’s the best kind of pet rock? —a “gneiss” one!

POTD 6-30-15 Farmington Canyon Gneiss Rock Mineral

Pearsons Canyon, Box Elder County, Utah
Photographer: Adam McKean; © 2014

Folded pegmatite vein in Farmington Canyon Complex gneiss, Pearsons Canyon, Box Elder County.

Banded white marble and quartz augen (eyeshaped crystals) in gray argillite, Notch Peak, Millard County. Notch Peak, Millard County, Utah Photographer: Mark Milligan; © 2014

POTD June 23, 2015: Notch Peak, Millard County, Utah

POTD 6-16-15 Notch Peak Mineral Rock Argillite

Notch Peak, Millard County, Utah
Photographer: Mark Milligan; © 2014

Banded white marble and quartz augen (eyeshaped crystals) in gray argillite, Notch Peak, Millard County.

Glad You Asked: October 23, 2014

Cooler weather is on its way, so we’ve got a cool “Glad You Asked” article to compliment the changing seasons! It’s a beautiful time of the year to get out into Utah’s geology. Maybe some of you have noticed these groovy rocks out on your outdoor adventures. What are those grooves in the rocks, and how did they get that way?

Read more about Glacial Striations and Slickensides HERE!

Glad You Asked: September 18, 2014

When I was a child, my family would often go camping in the summers. I would pick up various rocks and ask my dad what they were. “They’re called Leavarite, so you leave em’ right there.” While this is no “Leavarite,” it is something a lightning strike left behind. Most people have never seen it, and those who have may have never realized what it was at the time. This remnant is called a Fulgurite. Fulgurites are natural tubes or crusts of glass formed by the fusion of silica (quartz) sand or rock from a lightning strike. Their shape mimics the path of the lightning bolt as it disperses into the ground.

Read more about fulgurites in our Glad You Asked article HERE!