Sunday, August 28, 2005

Weird Science: Obsidian

We’ve all heard of the "Obsidian" Order. Err, well some of us have. Sounds ominous though, doesn’t it? Commonly used in place of "black", because let’s face it - it sounds way cooler. But do we really know what obsidian is?

Well in this short little post, I will tell you.

Obsidian is a volcanic glass. It is usually formed in lava flows - hence the volcanic before the glass. Essentially, obsidian is mostly silica and has a similar composition to granite, but it is usually pitch black in color. And why is it so black in color? Its secret lies with crystallites. Crystallites are tiny crystal growths inside the obsidian structure causing it to be black.

And, if there are tiny amounts of iron oxide (rust) inside the obsidian’s structure as it is forming, it could also be a red or brownish color.

And if you want to see a whole load of obsidian in the real world, you have to check out the Obsidian Cliffs in Yellowstone park, or Mount Hekla in Iceland.

Now when you hear somebody say they are part of the "Obsidian" order, you will know what they are talking about. They may still have rocks in their heads though, but now you will know what kind.

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