So a few weeks back (wow, time flies when you’re bloody busy!), I posted about doing a little science experiment for you guys to follow along with. What will I be doing? Growing some aragonite crystals, of course!
Summer is a very busy time for me. A lot goes on, which is why I haven’t had time to actually start this project. I should be able to squeeze it in between travels.
So I thought I’d start with a little introduction on the mineral aragonite, and how this process should go. The best part is, this can be easily done by anyone!
First off, aragonite is carbonate mineral (my favourite category!) and turns into calcite over time if it is exposed to normal temperatures and pressures we live in. Why? Because aragonite is a mineral that forms in oceans and other wet environments (like caves, for example) that needs warm/hot waters. I have many aragonite specimens that are partially now calcite. You will see aragonite a lot in fossils (and calcite). Ammonites are a great example of being replaced with aragonite. Here’s some more information on aragonite if you’d like to know more of the technical stuff.
How will I be growing this mineral?
With popcorn rocks, of course! These are great, cheap, and easy to purchase. You can find them online or at museums (where mine is coming from). A popcorn rock is limestone found in Utah, which is mostly composed of Calcium Carbonate (CaCo3) minerals, calcite and aragonite. The one I’ll be using is this brand (not my actual specimen):
It should hopefully turn out to look something like this after a few weeks. Every rock is different, so we’ll see how mine turns out. I’ve grown many crystals over the years, and you’ll never get similar results!
How will this process go?
I do not want to give everything away, because then what’s the point of posting about it while it happens? You could easily find everything I’ll talk about online, but I think it’ll be fun for everyone involved to watch the minerals form.
Basically I’ll get some distilled white vinegar, throw that little guy in a clear glass container (fully submerged), put it in the sunlight, and just let it sit for a few weeks! Pretty simple, right? I will take photos everyday and post updates either once a day, or maybe once every few days depending how slow the process is. The first few days should not yield many crystals so I may not post much other than text updates, for example.
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I’m trying to post more original science content that I have written/done instead of posting everyone else’s that you can easily read on their site. I’ll still post articles with some additional comments I have from time to time, but I’d like to write up more posts for you guys. If I don’t have time to write anything up or add my own comments, then I’ll just post stuff for you guys to read! Original content is good stuff.
I’ll be posting anything involving this process under the tag #project aragonite. That way, you’ll be able to find all posts associated with this project! I hope you guys will enjoy this and maybe even try it yourself sometime.