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Fulgurite

sku: fulg

Fulgurites (from the Latin fulgur, meaning "lightning") are natural tubes or masses of sintered soil, sand, and/or rock that form when lightning strikes the ground. They are classified as a variety of the mineraloid lechatelierite, although their absolute chemical composition is dependent on the physical and chemical properties of the material struck by lightning. They are commonly hollow and/or branching assemblages of glassy, protocrystalline, and heterogeneously microcrystalline tubes, crusts, slags, vesicular masses, and clusters of refractory materials that often form during the discharge phase of lightning strikes propagating into silica-rich quartzose sand, mixed soil, clay, or other sediments. Fulgurites are homologous to Lichtenberg figures, which are the branching patterns produced on surfaces of insulators during dielectric breakdown by high-voltage discharges, such as lightning.

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