Fulgurites

~ Author: Chloe Wong, 12-year old rock enthusiast

Many people, including myself, are terrified of lightning. I mean, the sudden loud ”BAAAM” can really scare me sia 🙁
But there are some instances where lightning isn’t scary at all, where the sudden strike of lightning does not make you jump up like its a jump scare, when the lightning has already struck.

Fulgurites, in other words, Petrified Lightning, are the less-scary aftermath of when lightning strikes the ground. Fulgurites are derived from the word ”Fulgur”, meaning lightning in Latin. When lightning strikes and discharges into the ground, it fuses and vitrifies with the soil, sand, rocks,organic debris, mineral grains or other sediments into a glassy silica mineral. Fulgurites, therefore can be classified as Petrified Lightning.

The most common type of fulgurites are sand fulgurites, formed when lightning at a temperature beyond 1,800 degrees strikes on silica-rich sandy beaches. Some fulgurites are formed from ancient lightning that struck even before our parents were born, but to find those it’ll take a lot of labour, who knows where they are buried deep in the sand. Just imagine Thor striking a beach with lightning from his hammer, there would be so many fulgurites left on the beach 🙂

Fulgurite captures the shape of the lightning bolt when it disperses into the ground. No two lightning strikes can look the same. Each fulgurite mimics different and unique shapes and patterns of its lightning bolt. Kind of like us actually, we’re all unique in our own way, we can’t be perfect. I think this is the only type of lightning I find friendly, I mean it doesn’t make a lot of noise am I right?

A twelve-year old’s passion for rocks

Hi everyone, I’m Chloe. 🙂 . I just finished my PSLE exams and gotten my results, yea! Pretty happy with my grades after working hard and just hoping that I will get into the school I’ve applied for in the coming new year. I’m going to be sharing how a twelve-year old started a passion, for an unusual subject – rocks & minerals!

The first thing that may come to your mind is, ”Why rocks?” Little do you know that there is a whole other world surrounding them, a world that not everyone has seen, how Mother Nature has put them on this earth, for us to unravel their beauty, their hidden beauty.

Around the time when I was four-years old, my parents bought all three of their children each a necklace, each holding a different type of gemstone for all three of us. My sister had a clear quartz, my brother a tiger’s eye, and I had one of the most common gemstones – amethyst. The moment I wore it, I knew I was going to have a certain relationship with it. I wore it everywhere I went, I even wore it to kindergarten!( even when i wasn’t allowed to ) I remember how I would hold it up to my eye and look at its amazing purple colour, and its inclusions inside of it would make it look like a landscape ( especially since purple is my favourite colour ) . It helped me calm my nerves and kept me at a peaceful state when I looked at it, even when my parents were fighting.

When I started Primary school, I started focusing more on exams and tried my hardest to to be best in my classes, and most of all make friends. I stopped wearing my necklace and completely forgotten where it was. I did work hard, but I felt like something was missing.

After four years of primary school, my family went through some changes and we had to move house. As I was unboxing the boxes in our new house, I found one of the most precious thing to me. The necklace still fits perfectly around my neck even without adjusting the size at all for four years. When I found it, I remembered the times I spent wearing it around with me as a kid. I realized that I had a passion for gemstones and did my research on everything about them.

During my research, I noticed that alot of people mistreat or misuse them. We can’t expect them to make our problems go away or give us superpowers just by holding them. They are on this earth for us to appreciate them, not to use them as a tool. That’s how I discovered The Gem Museum, I learnt that I can chase my dream and that I can pursue my passion at this place. I decided to spend my holiday in a meaningful way to be at The Gem Museum to learn all I can and be with people that share the same passion! I know there are other twelve-year olds out there that don’t know what their passions are, I encourage you not to give up on finding it no matter how long it takes. 🙂

Good luck 🙂

Chloe Wong, the rock enthusiast.

Here I am, at the Rock Garden corner of The Gem Museum!
Reunited with my most precious amethyst necklace!