What kind of rock is this?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by adder7712, May 2, 2013.

  1. adder7712 macrumors 68000

    adder7712

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    #1
    My brother found this outside of our house, I think it's just rock salt but he thinks it's something else.
     

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  2. Switchback666 macrumors 68000

    Switchback666

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  3. Huntn, May 3, 2013
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  4. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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  5. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

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    #6
    I guess it depends on where you live and where he found it. If I found something like this outside my house, there would be a 99% chance it's a chunk of rock salt from a city snowplow. Without more details it's hard to tell. Put it in a glass of tap water overnight and see if it dissolves.
     
  6. RawBert macrumors 68000

    RawBert

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  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #8
    Some type of quartz would be my guess as well.
     
  8. adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

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    #9
    He found it on the road, I don't think it's quartz.
     
  9. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #10
    1. A road located where? Rocks and minerals aren't evenly distributed around the world. Knowing where it was found could be useful at narrowing down what it is. For example, you're more likely to find mineralized salts near here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_lake

    2. Quartz isn't soluble in water. Salt is. So see if it dissolves in water. If you want to minimize visible damage, pick the worst looking face. If it dissolves in water, it may be any of various salts (halite, epsomite, alum, etc.), but it definitely won't be quartz.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halite
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epsomite
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alum

    I'm not a rock or mineral specialist, but I've seen halite and other mineralized salts before.
     
  10. MasterHowl macrumors 65816

    MasterHowl

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    #11
    Looks too cubic to be quartz... quartz usually forms hexagonal shaped crystals.

    Very difficult to say from the photograph, but my guess would be common salt. It looks the right colour, and it's the right shape. Give it a lick and see!

    (I'm a geology student)
     
  11. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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  12. adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

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    #13
    And....it's official. It's salt.

    My brother said it dissolved in water and it tasted salty.
     
  13. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

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    #14
    Reminds me of a scene in the book "The Hot Zone" about when samples of a disease that killed monkeys were sent to Ft. Detrick back in 1989 and the researchers there didn't know what they had. A couple of them tried wafting flasks of the mysterious samples to see if they recognized the smell. Fortunately for them, they were fooling around with one of the very few forms of Ebola that aren't harmful to humans.
     
  14. adder7712 thread starter macrumors 68000

    adder7712

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    #15
    Interesting book, will probably look into it.
     
  15. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

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    #16
    It's a nail-biter.
     

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