Like all heavenly bodies, Planet Earth began its life by the differentiation of the elements. With fiery violence it fashioned core and crust like a celestial blacksmith, imparting its own predisposition for strife within the organisms that would eventually inhabit its primordial seas. This fundamental drive for survival and dominance over one another ushered life landward, where the battle resumed as fierce and pitiless as in the deep sea. From this was born the human tribe. Coarse and primitive, humanity inherited this competitive drive in order to expand and secure territory, ensure individual and group safety, and satisfy its deep-seated curiosity to learn and grow. Moved towards the search for answers, humanity became steeped in magic and myth, which in turn would pave the way for science.
The photos below are images from my petrographic microscope. As geologists, we control the character of the light passing through thin sections (1 millionth of a meter) of rock in order to investigate the minerals and their relationships to one another, constrain the conditions of their formation, and examine the microstructures imprinted on them by the local and regional stresses that built them. Their brilliant colors are a function not of enhancement, but of their individual crystal lattice structures and the wavelengths of light that each mineral allows through. These are the tools of the petrographer. These are unorthodox glimpses of the earth upon which we all walk.
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