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Naica Crystal Caves Mexico

Naica Crystal Caves 

I remember watching the Superman movies in the late 1970s and 1980s. The scenes I most vividly remember are related to the Fortress of Solitude, Superman's home on Kandor and later on New Krypton. As a young child, these huge space age crystal like caverns captured my imagination. It was a perfectly composed space age Utopian dream world. Even when I grew older, I always dreamed of finding this place but was never quite able to accomplish this due to my limited earthy powers...but such a place existed after all, and it was much closer than I could ever have imagined...

When Mexican miners discovered a cavern in Naica in 1910 they encountered a forest of bright and shining crystals, some up to 90 feet long and over 500,000 years old. The cavern was named Cave of the Crystals, and quickly dubbed the Crystal Sistine Chapel. Since crystal is still extracted here today, the cave is not easy accessible to tourists. The high temperatures and the extremely perilous terrain inside the cave make a visit nearly impossible.

The cave of Naica continues to capture the imagination and bears striking resemblances with the imaginary world of discovery described in Jules Verne's' A Journey to the Center of the Earth, as well as Superman's own giant crystal-like home. Makes me wonder if the Mysterious Cities of Gold are still out there somewhere.

Perfect at least for now, luminous crystals face threats from foot traffic, looters, and condensation. Mine owners limit access to the cave, but researchers hope for legal protection.

Image Credits: Warner Bros, Carsten Peter, Speleoresearch & Films.