Saturday, 14 December 2013

Five Minerals With Unusual Names [Infographic]

Five Minerals With Unusual Names [Infographic] image 5Minerals 01

We bet that, in 1824, when Chester Dewey discovered a new mineral and called it cummingtonite, he wasn’t thinking straight. Or maybe people were simpler and a bit na├»ve at that time. Anyway, thanks to the creative experts that named this mineral with a wide color range after the town of Cummington, in Massachusetts, cummingtonite can now be a part of funny lists like the one we have to show you.

This common form of magnesium-rich amphibole can be usually found in the United States (but also in Sweden, South Africa, Scotland and New Zealand) and is currently a fellow colleague of other minerals with funny names like moolooite or dickite. The resemblance they all share? Well, they all figure in this infographic, for starters.

Speaking of dickite, probably the most cheeky mineral of our list, the history of this mineral began way long before it was known by this strange name, given by Clarence S. Ross and Paul F. Kerr in honor to Allan B. Dick. In 1888, this metallurgical chemist was on the island of Anglesey studying the Kaolin mineral, when he performed several useful experiments describing the mineral. However, it was not until the decade of 1930 that Ross and Kerr examined the mineral closely and concluded that it was indeed different when compared to the already known minerals of kaolinite and nacrite.

Yeah, history and all that… But was the name dickite really the best choice? C’mon, guys! Well, we understand the homage to Allan B. Dick, but even so this wasn’t properly considered. Too late to change the name, anyway!

Despite their strange and usually funny nomenclature, miners and scientists across the world loved to respect these minerals for what they are: amazing creations brought to us by nature. And although their names make us smile, these materials are pretty useful, so they deserve a little bit of your time.


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