MINERALOGICAL RESEARCH COMPANY




General physical features of the Fulgurites from

COLMESNEIL, TYLER COUNTY, EAST TEXAS

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE LOCALITY:

The fulgurites in this group were found in Tyler County, East Texas in 2001. They were collected by the owner of a ranch who lives in a rural area near Colmesneil, the morning immediately after a tremendous storm produced numerous lightning strikes scattered over a wide area of his property. His first thought, during the storm, was to get his cattle out of the area where the lightning was striking before he had some BBQ beef Ė the cattle were terrified! The morning after the storm he was out walking over his property and noticed some unusual disturbed areas in the ground where, upon digging, he found strange looking, long skinny rocks buried in the sandy soil. These strange looking rocks were were fulgurites -- the product of super heated electrical discharges (i.e., lightning strikes) hitting the ground and melting the sandy soil to form long, tubular, glassy formations. After he found the first fulgurite, the ranch owner dug up all of the areas he could find that looked like lightning had struck the ground, and was able to recover this collection of fulgurites. It took him a while to find someone in his local area who could identify what these strange rocks were, that seemed to have something to do with lightning striking the ground! Isnít Mother Nature full of surprises!

OUTSIDE SURFACE:

Form:

Extremely varied, as illustrated in the accompanying photos.

Color:

Light smoky gray.

Texture:

Fairly smooth, without pronounced ridges.

Sand Granules:

Lots of small, white to pale smoky gray color
sand granules adhering to the fused outside
surfaces of the fulgurites.

GLASSY INTERIOR:

Color:

Near white to very pale smoky gray, translucent to opaque.

Texture:

Very glassy. Varies from fairly smooth, to highly irregular (when lots of gas bubbles are present).

Bubbles (Gas Pockets) Present:

Numerous, microscopic, when present.

 

                           


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