Two Miners Uncovered a Cave Deep Below the Earth That's As Beautiful As It Is Deadly
Imagine accidentally plunging 300 kilometers beneath the Earth’s surface? What would the journey look like? While it sounds farfetched that anyone would get to see so far below the Earth's surface, two miners accidentally stumbled upon a mine shaft that led them into the depths. What they saw down below was breathtaking — and an undeniable scientific breakthrough.
In the year 2000, the Delgado Brothers, two Mexican miners trenching in the Naica Mines for Industrias Peñoles, happened to accidentally spelunk into what became known as one of the most famous and dangerous locations on Earth. It was an otherworldly sight.
The environment in the Cave of the Crystals is so toxic that a human would die within five minutes without proper equipment. Luckily, the miners were prepared to explore one of the most breathtaking locations on the planet. This marked the third cave in the Naica Mines, and it was completely filled with glittering formations.
The crystals were primarily Selenite formations. The largest crystal measured 12 meters long, 4 meters in diameter, and weighed more than 55 tons. Each one was cut perfectly — not by a jeweler, but by nature. But that’s not all that was down there.
The Naica Mines caves soon attracted the attention of NASA. In 2008 and 2009, NASA Astrobiology Institute director Penelope Boston Ventured into the Giant Crystal Cave. Boston was one of the scientists who discovered the crystals held a secret.