The Formation of Petrified Wood

“There’s no wood left, but its shape is retained in the new formation.”

– Curtest Witty

Petrified wood is essentially created when a tree, stump, branch, or similar organic material is rapidly buried. Essentially trapped under a layer of other material and the pressure it generates, the wood starts to decay, and mineral rich waters fill the cavities left in it’s wake. Those minerals harden into a cryptocrystalline* structure that we call petrified (or fossilized) wood. There’s no wood left, but it’s shape is retained in the new formation.

“If you think that’s cool, be sure to Google ‘limb cast’.”

– Curtest Witty

 

If you think that’s cool, be sure to Google “limb cast”. In my experience, they are much more colorful.

*The presence of a crystalline structure is what classifies a mineral as a crystal. Cryptocrystalline means that while there is crystal present, you need to maginfy the material to see it!

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