Interesting facts about amber

Interesting facts about amber

1. Amber is a gem, but not a gem.
This is not a mineral, but a fossilized resin of some ancient trees that took root 38-120 million years ago. His appearance was facilitated by the critical change in the vegetation cover of the Earth.

Due to the change of climate from dry and hot to moderate, many new plants have appeared, but other types of vegetation have disappeared, including cycadic, sago, and fern.

2. The world's largest repositories of amber are located in the Baltic region.
According to the report of the Royal Society for the Development of Nature Knowledge in London, more than 105 tons of Baltic amber was mined in northern Europe, in places where forests were found in the Paleogene period.

3. The world's largest amber is located at the Amber Museum in Copenhagen. When he was found, the weight of amber was about 80 kg.
A piece of amber, supposedly 25 million years old, was found in 2014 by miners from West Sumatra. Now its weight is 47.5 kg, and its dimensions are 57.5 x 62 x 37 cm.
In second place is the "Burmese amber", which weighs 15 kg 250 g.Find this amber in the Museum of Natural History in London. The second line in the list of the largest amber is occupied by a piece of amber weighing 12 kg, which was found in the second half of the 19th century in Prussia.
Other large parts of the fossilized resin were found in the same place. Among them, amber weighing 9.7 kg and 7 kg.
At the beginning of the 19th century, a piece of amber weighing 6 kg 750 g was found near the town of Gusev. Its length is 37 cm, width 21 cm and thickness 14 cm.
And yet it is worth saying that such a large amber is extremely small - in the entire history less than 10 copies were found weighing more than 5 kg.21

4. There are over 300 colors in which amber is colored.
The color of amber is not always yellow, red or orange. This gem can be white, green and blue.22
And blue amber can be found only in three countries on our planet - Mexico, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
It will be interesting to note the fact that tropical amber, painted in blue, can phosphoresce, and therefore jewelry made from it, become even more original and unusual.
It is also worth noting that there are samples of several colors. For example, the so-called "sun stone", located in Central America has about 30 shades.
This amber originated from a locust bean resin (whereas Baltic amber was formed from a conifer resin). But not everyone is able to process blue amber, as it is the hardest amber of all.23

5. For amber to form, it takes millions of years and certain conditions for the disposal of tar in forest soils.
Most of the resin trees are chemically unstable and will eventually rot instead of hardening.
To get amber, the resin must be underground under certain conditions - the soil must be dry and saturated with oxygen, and in wetlands where there is no oxygen, the resin of the trees retains brittleness.
Also, one of the stages of the formation of amber includes erosion, transfer and sludge resins in the water basin.24

6. The word "electricity" is derived from the Greek word meaning "amber."
According to the Swedish Amber Museum, more than 2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus discovered that if you rub an amber stick with wool, it was charged with static electricity, creating sparks, after which it attracted feathers and hair on its head (if approached).This force is called "electricity", from the Greek "electron", which means "amber".

7. In amber stuck many animals, and even the "feather" of a dinosaur.
Inside the amber fragments can be seen insects. Since amber resin tends to mummify, all the "sacrifices" preserved in the resin millions of years ago were preserved in their original form.
Also inside the amber can be found frogs, lizards, feathers of birds, snake skin, mammalian bones, as well as many plants. It is worth noting that all animals and plants stuck in amber are called inclusions. Such amber is much more expensive than normal - its value can reach up to $ 20,000.
The most interesting amber is the one in which the feather of a theropod (a predatory dinosaur) has survived.25

8. Among the most expensive amber can be identified three: one in which a whole frog is preserved, one with a 7-centimeter chameleon, and one with a 10-centimeter lizard. The cost of each is several tens of thousands of dollars.
Around the world, only 30 copies of amber with lizards and 50 copies of amber with butterflies were found.26

9. Scientists were trying to get the DNA of animals stuck in amber.
Unlike scientists from the movie "Jurassic Park", real scientists have so far failed to get functional DNA from insects sharpened in amber.
DNA has a half-life of 521 years. This means that after a given period of time, half of the bonds between the chains of nucleotides in the DNA will break, after another 521 years, half of the remaining bonds will disappear, and so on.

10. Many extinct species were discovered thanks to amber.
Due to their property of mummifying insects and animals, paleontologists were able to recreate life on Earth in its early stages. They also found more than 1,000 extinct insect species.27

11. Baltic amber was found in Egyptian tombs.
The ancient Egyptians loved amber very much. Many testimonies indicate that the Egyptian tombs, built 3,200 years BC, contain pieces of amber.
Some believe that amber was used as a symbol of the tears of the god Ra. It is believed that this amber was formed on the Baltic coast 2,400 km from the tombs.
Amber also decorated the crown of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen.

12. People used amber to create jewelry as early as 11,000 BC.
A few thousand years ago, people could already process amber and make jewelry from it. This is indicated by archaeological excavations in England.28

13. The oldest amber is 320 million years old.
Most of the amber on the planet is at least 90 million years old, but there are incredibly old examples. In 2009, scientists found a piece of amber, 320 million years old, in a coal mine in Illinois. By structure, it was no different from the more "young" amber.
This finding has brought a significant contribution to the history of plant evolution. Scientists have learned that amber appeared much earlier than they thought. The ancient animals found in amber represented the Triassic period, which began 250 million years ago and ended 200 million years ago. Although they are about 230 million years old, they are very similar to modern gall mites.29

14. There are several types of amber.
The most famous type of amber is succinite.
Amber wax-yellow - gedanit.
Opaque amber of brown color is gless.
Opaque amber of a dark brown shade - bokkerit.
The most fragile amber of black color is Stanthienite.30

15. Of particular value is amber mined in the mines of Mexico,Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, because in it there are much more inclusions (insects, plants, fish or parts of mammals, "stuck" in amber).

16. Cherry amber was especially popular in China and Japan, especially among members of the imperial family.
And in ancient Rome, transparent amber of a reddish hue was appreciated. In eastern countries, transparent yellow amber with a green tint, as well as cloudy amber, which has a milky white hue, were very popular.31

17. In Haiti, a fragment of the “sun stone” was found, inside which an ancient spider was preserved.
According to the scientists who studied this amber for 2 years, the 4-centimeter insect found lived in the territory of present-day Haiti 120 million years ago. Surprisingly, the age of amber was determined by the blood of the spider.32

18. To distinguish real amber from a fake, you only need to immerse the object in salt water.
Natural amber, immersed in a glass of water and 2-3 tbsp. spoons of salt, will emerge, and the fake will go to the bottom.

19. In places where amber is mined, you can purchase a large multicolored raw sample for $ 250.
But in order to see any prehistoric detail inside amber, it will have to be polished.

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  • Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

    Interesting facts about amber

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