Petrified Wood

When a tree falls, it decays rather quickly because of the action of wind, rain, bugs, and such. However, when a tree falls and is immediately buried, as can happen during floods, mudslides, or volcanic activity, possible outcomes can vary. In an environment with little-to-no oxygen, decay likely will be slowed and the tree might be preserved in some form. In some soils, the buried tree will remain just that — a buried tree, which decays slowly.

When trees become buried in a mineral-rich area, however, some amazing changes can take place. Under certain conditions, the walls of the cells in the tree can be replaced by silica (also known as Silicon Dioxide, SiO2), hardening them, essentially turning them into stone while still preserving the basic structure of the cells. Then, slowly, the organic material within the cells might be replaced with silica or other minerals, completing the process over time. Eventually, virtually all the organic material in the tree could be replaced with inorganic minerals, the same inorganic materials from which rocks are made. That is the 'petrification' process. [2]

The resulting object is an exact copy (in appearance) of the original, but rendered in stone instead of organic compounds. It has the hardness of the minerals that now compose it, and is resistant to further deterioration in the same way a rock would be.

Quite by a happy accident, I just learned that today, October 13th is National Fossil Day. How appropriate to be writing about one of the many types of fossils today!

The above photo shows what I consider the obverse (or front side) of the petrified wood specimen I have. The pretty colors visible in the piece are caused by trace amounts of various elements such as iron, chromium, et al. The side that I consider the reverse (back side) of the piece has much more subtle coloring, shown below.

While looking closely at the specimen not long after I acquired it, I noticed something quite interesting. In much the same way that one might look at a cloud and see the shape of a cat or an elephant, a scene unfolded in my mind when I looked at this piece. I marked the scene with a box, below.

There is a yellowish spot that looks like a crescent moon. In another place, there is a shape that almost looks like a humanoid figure (stick figure) with a head, arms (one raised), and legs, and it appears that figure is carved onto a boulder. Many ancient peoples carved scenes on boulders and cave walls and those are called petroglyphs. [3]

Enlarged and rotated, the scene looks like a painting executed by Mother Nature. I call it "Petroglyph by Moonlight." Can you see the crescent moon to the left, and the humanoid figure carved into the boulder?

I think this is a beautiful, colorful piece! It is delightful to hold in the hand and marvel at the forces of nature that went into creating it! While holding this specimen, I am connecting with a tree that lived thousands, or millions, of years ago. I am thrilled to have such an interesting and unique piece in my geological collection of rocks, minerals, crystals, & fossils!

 😊

SOURCES
   1 Wikipedia: National Fossil Day
   2 Wikipedia: Petrified Wood
   3 Wikipedia: Petroglyph


       



13-Oct-2021



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pixresteemer_incognito_angel_mini.png
Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!
!PIZZA
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What an interesting and detailed post, something very curious in a world full of a lot of information, I liked reading the process of how the transformation of this matter occurs, one read this and thinks about the world of possibilities that exist in the transformation of matter, As time progresses and more research develops, I imagine we will see incredible changes in society.

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This post has received a 100.00% upvote from @fambalam! Join thealliance community to get whitelisted for delegation to this community service.

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This was my favorite kind of 'rock' to collect when I was little! We went to various mines and digs as part of one of my classes and this brings me back. Awesomeness Kitty.

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(Edited)

very cool specimen. Thanks for posting this in @dreemport, at PYPT today. Does this make Petrified wood a #dreemer's favorite? Somewhere, packed away,for an upcoming move, I have a small collection of rocks, including my own pieces of petrified wood!

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It's very good. We can make these rocks into an eye ring. It's very beautiful if we make them. Because if we give light, the beauty will be seen on the object.

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