It’s a lot like Christmas when an eager young child at The Crystal Caves gets to break open a geode to reveal the mineral mystery inside.
A mixture of awe and delight registers on the faces of children – and adults – when the specially built geode cracker is ratcheted up and breaks the round rock in two, exposing the beautiful crystal sparkling inside.
The lucky “cracker” who does the work is the first person ever to see the inside of the 44-million-year-old geode.
Crack a Geode is a highlight of The Crystal Caves and can make any tour of the Atherton Tablelands visitor attraction end in a bang.
Visitors who Crack a Geode not only have a fun story and photos to take home but a beautiful memento of their experience at The Crystal Caves.
Caves creator René Boissevain first brought geodes back from Mexico in 2003. The geodes are mined underground in Chihuahua, Mexico. The miners can reach depths of 35 metres to get them and they are chipped from the mine face by pick-axe.
Geodes are formed by volcanic activity and are usually a banded from of finely grained microcrystalline quarts. The bands are formed by a silica rich liquid entering the cavity but if this runs out before the nodule is filled, amazing crystals take up the space.
About a third of all geodes brought to the surface in Mexico are referred to as ‘Mexican coconuts’; the hollow “eggs” suitable for cracking.
His original haul from that first trip to Mexico was 1.5 tonnes and since then about 2.5 tonnes have been cracked each year. They vary from hen to emu egg in size.
After a visitor has paid for one of the various sized eggs, it’s popped in the geode cracker for the visitor to break open. The device is levered so children as well as adults can have a go.
Crack a Geode at The Crystal Caves is a unique and hands on way to unearth the mineral beauty and complexity of the planet. And it’s a lot of fun.