The Naica Mine of Chihuahua, Mexico
From A Working Mine to An Astonishing Site for Tourists
Who would have thought that a working mine meant for mining natural resources like zinc, silver and lead can turn into an interesting site attracting many tourists from all around the globe? Such an amazing story actually happens to the Naica Mine of Chihuahua in Mexico. Formerly, this mine was known as a location meant for mining various natural resources. Today, many visitors come to this site to witness the extraordinary cave of crystal inside the mine. Before you plan to discover the amazing site in the Naica Mine, it would be best if you deal with your claustrophobic issue, if you have any. It is more likely that you will go deep down beneath the earth surface to enjoy the best part of the mine.
The Naica Mine and Its History
This mine is located at the southern part of the Chihuahua City and it was discovered for the first time by the early prospectors in 1794. At first, the miners were meant to find plenty of gold and silver in this area. However, the mining turned out to have more focus on getting a great deal of zinc and lead, which were very valuable natural resources at that moment. Due to an unexpected discovery at 400 feet of depth, the mine was closed down in 1912 and it was reopened in 1922 for extracting gold, lead and zinc. In April 2000, Juan and Pedro Sanchez made a surprising discovery in that particular mine. The two brothers worked for Industrias Penoles Naica and drilled a new tunnel into the unexplored drilled one. By the time they reached 984 feet deep, they managed to find the awe-inspiring caverns later known as the crystal cave.
The air temperature within the Naica Mine is 50 degrees in Celsius. Added by 90% of humidity level and 105C of humidex value has made this mine a very extreme spot to visit. Make sure that you gear up properly to ensure your safety before going into the deep mine. The crystal of the mine itself is 4 feet large and is fifty feet long. The selenite crystal resides in the chamber later is called the Crystal Cave of Giants. The cave is located about one thousand feet down in the limestone. It is believed that the selenite crystals were formed by the hydrothermal fluids that came from the chambers of magma below the mine. There is another chamber you can find in this mine that also has large crystals like the one in the Naica fault. The other chamber is known as the Cave of Swords.
The selenite crystals found in the Crystal Cave of Giants are known as the largest natural crystals ever found by miners. This stunning discovery has been very attractive to many scientists and geologists. Other than that, plenty of tourists from many different countries are queuing in lines just to witness this natural wonder with their own eyes. It is sad to say that the Naica Mine is not open for the general public. You can only visit this mine under a special entry condition.
Picture: Arjuna Zbycho Source: Flickr