Cherry Blossoms lining the street in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Les Taylor
Japan’s cherry blossom stone is a natural wonder
Meet the cherry blossom stone from Japan - one of the most striking natural rock formations in the world.
by Bec Crew
So-called because when you crack them open, their internal cross-sections look like tiny golden-pink flowers, cherry blossom stones (sakura ishi in Japanese) get their beautiful patterns from mica, which is a commonly found silicate mineral known for its shiny, light-reflecting surface.
These flower patterns weren’t always made of mica. They started their existence as a complex matrix of six prism-shaped crystal deposits of a magnesium-iron-aluminium composite called cordierite, radiating out from a single dumbbell-shaped crystal made from a magnesium-aluminium-silicate composite called indialite in the centre.
Hosted inside a fine-grained type of rock called a hornfels - formed underground around 100 million years ago by the intense heat of molten lava - cherry blossom stones underwent a second significant metamorphosis in their geological lifespan when they were exposed to a type of hot water called hydrothermal fluids…
(read more: ScienceAlert! - Australia/NZ)
images: John Rakovan et al.
Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show. 8.2.14.
Harvest mice are Europe’s smallest rodents. It is easily identified with its blunt nose, short, rounded hairy ears and golden-brown fur. It posses a remarkable prehensile tail, which is used as a fifth limb that aids climbing through the tall, dense vegetation of their meadow, hedgerow and crop field homes.
Limousine Driver Stands before a Banksy exhibit
cat to go
Jeff J Mitchell
British dressage star Charlotte Dujardin
Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
HH: Earth Burps ~~~
The mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan and its surrounding also hold a rich historical significance, filled with rock carvings, the volcanoes themselves and also a musical rock in the region called the ‘Gaval Dash’ which is only found in Azerbaijan (Gobustan state reserve) which is a large flat stoneformed by three supports and produces a tambourine like sound when it is struck. -
On Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced it was no longer considering listing wolverines as threatened species. The listing would have been made primarily due to the threat of climate change melting the snowpack they rely on for breeding and food storage. The stocky, shaggy haired animal was proposed for placement on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 14 years ago and last year the USFWS proposed adding safeguards to protect the 300 or so wolverines left in the contiguous U.S. Now the Service has decided to withdraw that consideration because there is uncertainty about how and when the effects of climate change might affect this population of wolverine.
Photo CREDIT: FLICKR/JOSH MORE