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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Mesolite

Close-up photograph of mesolite (146882) from the National Mineral Collection
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH 146882-00
Locality Maharashtra, India

Gift of Mary H. Stuart.

Mesolite commonly forms as elongated needle-like or prismatic crystals, typically in hairlike or fibrous sprays that are colorless, white, or gray. Each needle in this spray is a single crystal. The crystals grew from a water solution that circulated through cooled volcanic rock. They fanned out to fill a cavity left by a gas bubble in the rock. The name comes from the Greek “mesos” meaning “middle” as its chemical composition falls between natrolite and scolecite.


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