Posted by Mark Frauenfelder, March 19, 2007 10:38 AM
The gypsum crystals in the Naica Mine of Chihuahua, Mexico are up to 50
feet long. At 150 degrees F, the cave is hot enough to kill would-be
April 2000, brothers Juan and Pedro Sanchez were drilling a new tunnel
when they made a truly spectacular discovery. While Naica miners are
accustomed to finding crystals, Juan and Pedro were absolutely amazed
by the cavern that they found. The brothers immediately informed the
engineer in charge, Roberto Gonzalez. Ing. Gonzalez realized that they
had discovered a natural treasure and quickly rerouted the tunnel.
During this phase some damage was done as several miners tried to
remove pieces of the mega-crystals, so the mining company soon
installed an iron door to protect the find. Later, one of the workers,
with the intention of stealing crystals, managed to get in through a
narrow hole. He tried to take some plastic bags filled with fresh air
inside, but the strategy didn’t work. He lost consciousness and later
was found thoroughly baked.