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The Giant Crystal Caves of Naica
Naica Caves

“The largest natural crystals on Earth have been discovered in two caves within a silver and zinc mine near Naica, in Chihuahua, Mexico,” a Discovery News article reprinted here tells us. “Reaching lengths of over 20 feet, the clear, faceted crystals are composed of selenite, a crystalline form of the mineral gypsum.”

Naica Caves

Naica Caves

If you're thinking of exploring the Naica caves, you might want to bring along your own climate controlled biosuit and an ample supply of oxygen as the temperatures inside are an unbearable 150˚F with 100% humidity. It will be like walking into a blast furnace. One death has already been recorded, that of a miner trying to steal some of the crystals: “He tried to take some plastic bags filled with fresh air inside, but the strategy didn't work. He lost consciousness and later was found thoroughly baked.”

There are now plans to air-condition the caves.

  • Anonymous
  • March 19, 2007 at 8:54:00 PM CDT
  • Those are incredible pictures. I've never seen crystals so big...

  • Anonymous
  • March 19, 2007 at 9:10:00 PM CDT
  • dammit. they found my hiding place!lbz

  • Adagios
  • March 20, 2007 at 9:26:00 AM CDT
  • I don't think they can air-condition the caves. I read in Nat Geo that the crystals fall apart if the conditions change.

  • Anonymous
  • March 22, 2007 at 12:15:00 AM CDT
  • Those guys need to leave Superman's secret lair like right now, they are totally not allowed in there.

  • ellroon
  • March 25, 2007 at 4:07:00 PM CDT
  • So. When they air condition the place, the crystals will dissolve or fall apart....

  • Anonymous
  • April 19, 2007 at 5:16:00 PM CDT
  • thanks so much for this excallent blog! dont ever stop.... the crystal cave made my day.... and your slant is always spot on!


  • Anonymous
  • April 28, 2007 at 3:48:00 PM CDT
  • Note Of Infringment

    I am the photographer and author of the infringed work detailed below appearing in the website at
    I have a good faith belief that the reported use is not authorized by me, the copyright and intellectual property owner, my agents or the law. I state, under penalty of perjury, that the information contained in this notice is accurate and that i am the copyright and intellectual property owner of the infringed work. The infringed work relating to photographs of the Cueva de los Cristales, Naica, Mexico. ( Cave of the Crystals, Naica, Mexico) infringed work at

    /Javier Trueba/
    Javier Trueba
    C/ Halconería - 22
    28691 - Villanueva de la Cañada
    Madrid - Spain (0034) 91-8162167

    If you wont maintain this photograph of Giant crystal cave in
    Mexico in your web you most credited:

    (c) Javier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films /

    There are not public photographs.

    Best regards

    Javier Trueba
    C/ Halconería - 22
    28691 - Villanueva de la Cañada
    Madrid - Spain Tel. (00 34) 91 816 2167
    Móvil. (00 34) 659 473847

  • Anonymous
  • July 26, 2007 at 5:05:00 PM CDT
  • i think maybe you should wonder what might happen if you air condition some part of another layer of earth... im not a climate junky but now is a good time to think before we do things. another comment kinda on topic, you would all be interested to look up information that the earth is growing outwards, was cool to learn about it.
    - marc
    Ron Paul 08

  • Anonymous
  • January 29, 2008 at 10:19:00 PM CST
  • How much longer do you think mother earth will continue to support us, when we continually abuse her? Actually, this looks like rape to me.

  • Anonymous
  • April 2, 2008 at 11:00:00 AM CDT
  • These are great I have never seen crystals this big before.

  • Unknown
  • October 2, 2008 at 8:59:00 PM CDT
  • Doesn't it blow your mind that these were discover NOW-I mean so that all of us, right here right now could see them? Not 150 years ago when there was no photography or 150 years from now when we're not here to see it , but right now?!?

  • Anonymous
  • October 9, 2008 at 6:24:00 AM CDT
  • looks like u better give credit to the people who actually took the pictures, if u want to avoid a lawsuit of copyright infringement

  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 9, 2008 at 6:56:00 AM CDT
  • Did you not notice the part of the post where we DID credit the photographs?

  • Anonymous
  • October 14, 2008 at 11:07:00 AM CDT
  • When I first saw the photos on the Nat Geo show my first thought was-It's a giant geode!

  • Anonymous
  • October 20, 2008 at 12:09:00 AM CDT
  • ley me tell you about the guy bitchin his copyrights of the pictures ,Im from chihuahua city and theres a tons of pictures of this caves in naica [in case you dont know]this site is to show people about the caves thats all ,they re not asking for money $$$ you re not the only one with this kind of pictures
    from my own town ....gabriel.. chihuahua chih. mx

  • Anonymous
  • April 24, 2009 at 12:58:00 PM CDT
  • What about arranging for the descent into the caves with a type of mobile tethered and insulated bathysphere, similar to that used in oceanic diving. This would allow visitors a safe view of these great wonders of the universe and allow the natural environment to be basically unaltered. Or simply use navigable robotic cameras. After all the possible photographs are taken then zip the caves back up and forever return them to nature.

  • Anonymous
  • August 20, 2009 at 12:13:00 PM CDT
  • the guys in the photos was not wearing special gear..They were in tee shirts

  • Unknown
  • October 19, 2009 at 8:38:00 PM CDT
  • The crystals were under water, but they pump the water out so they can work in there and now the cave is slowly getting cooler and the crystals are starting to erode

  • Unknown
  • November 27, 2009 at 8:12:00 PM CST
  • In Oklahoma, U.S., the selenite and gypsum has a high incorporated water content, and drying in a microwave oven speeds the natural drying process, causing the crystals to become whitened, opaque, crazed, dessicated. A one way process, for calcite minerals, and, for silica opal, if it was recently hydrated. They can fail over time if the water was removed.
    If the nearby mine is being drained anyhow, the giant crystals may be doomed.
    I release all my Mars images to the public benefit, as it makes science more efficient and broadly distributed. Private ownership of 'science' should be outlawed worldwide. Very few persons in the public will ever see those crystals directly. The images are valuable and well done. A source link for them would have worked.

  • Anonymous
  • March 6, 2010 at 3:18:00 PM CST
  • A long time public exposure would doom these giant crystals. In less fragile caves (like those I know in France), the 7/7 days exploitation have already produced very bad effects : the temperature inside the cave has changed, humidity is less effective, and the growing process (the drop of water containing mineral particles) is beginning to stop because the air is dry now.
    Humanity is killing those natural marvels, as everything else on the planet. That's maybe why those films about vampires are so popular.

  • Anonymous
  • April 20, 2010 at 2:25:00 PM CDT
  • I've been tracking down the location of these caves for some time now after I saw them on National Geographuc. I can get to Naica in less than ten hours by bus.

    You will definitely be finding me in those caves sometime soon. I wish there wasn't so much cartel trouble. Bus tickets round trip to that place wouldn't be more than about $150 USD, and I could camp.

    Sounds fun.

  • Anonymous
  • June 18, 2010 at 12:23:00 PM CDT
  • The trip to Chihuahua gets easier. Americanos bus service at 1007 Santa Fe Street in El Paso, will provide trasnportation to Chihuahua from El Paso and back to El Paso from Chihuahua.
    The advantage is that you don't have to travel into the unknown.
    Bring your passport. Anon

  • Unknown
  • July 13, 2010 at 1:49:00 AM CDT
  • I had some small samples of gypsum crystals which were OK in normal environment. The air-conditioning should not affect them as long as there is no draft of moist air.

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