Friday, March 8, 2013

A Very Deadly Rock...!

Some things we might find on or in the ground are best left alone! This is certainly one of them!

I don't think I've ever seen any of this and I'm sure I don't want to! The rock is pretty, no doubt. but because of the possible side effects I think I'll pass!

Orpiment



The only thing worse than arsenic itself could be a rock made from arsenic and sulfur. The lethal and chemically reactive orpiment crystals are found growing below the surface in mineral formations, often near hydrothermal vents. The colors are seductive, but holding the crystals in your hands may release carcinogenic, neurotoxic arsenic powder. Like cinnabar, the Chinese made extensive use of this mineral, but to far more terrifying ends. Arrows would be rubbed on crushed samples of these stones and then launched to poison the enemy in a rather fancy way to throw a rock. Orpiment is known to give off a strong garlic smell due to its arsenic content, and may crumble into dangerous powder when exposed to light. The mineral was used as a primary component of ochre paint, and likely poisoned many of the artists who used it.

I'll bet that ol' Dizzy Dick has seen something like this. I think that he has messed around a lot of minerals and such before.

Let's have some more coffee out on the patio this morning. I have a little peach cake I'll share!

6 comments:

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

My Dad was a true 'Rock Hound' and had told us about this one! Don't think he ever saw an actual piece of one though.
Winter storm warnings posted for this area and it's been snowing since last night. Aaggrrrrr!
Will have to dig out to get to your patio and peach cake!

Sixbears said...

Better be your patio. There's a foot of snow still on my deck and I'm too lazy to shovel it.

Maybe I'll just keep sitting her by the woodstove.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Actually, I have never heard of that roak, and wouln't want to have it in my garden (grin). What is the shiney silver triangle in it? That does not look natural.

linda m said...

Sure is pretty, but like you said I don't think I want to mess around with something deadly. Have a great weekend.

JO said...

Yes it sure is pretty. I'll make sure if I see one to keep my hands off of it.

But I could handle a piece of your peach cake. Never had that before.
And of course a nice cup of coffee. Sitting here watching the storm move in.

deborah harvey said...

very interesting. thanks for the info. love your site and read it every day.
deb harvey