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17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
In search of selenite crystals

A designated area of the 11K acres at the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma has gypsum concentrations high enough to grow selenite, a crystalline form of gypsum. The selenite crystals found here have an hourglass-shaped sand inclusion that is not known to occur in selenite crystals found elsewhere in the world. Digging for crystals is only allowed from April - October to protect this vital Whooping Crane habitat. The people are tiny but you can spot their parked cars.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2018
Date Uploaded: 05.2019
Photo Location: Oklahoma, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D810
Copyright: © Jassen Todorov