This one is a bit like a rumour. It sounds pretty spectacular and
indeed may well be so. But the truth can also be far less spectacular
or it can even be a simple hoax. Here is what - according to the german LAPIS mineral magazine
- is known about the giant garnet crystals :
Garnet crystals up to 30 m have been discovered by geology students
mapping in the Northern Territory of Australia. The garnet crystals in question are badly weathered and form a ridge
of small hills in a remote area of the Harts Range NE of Alice Springs.
They are accompanied by green epidote crystals.
Thats about it. There is no independent confirmation to date and
indeed it may prove very difficult to measure the exact size of 'badly
weathered' garnet crystals. However a hill made up entirely out of single garnet crystals
remains a scientific sensation, which should be investigated in further detail.
So if anybody knows more details about this deposit, please let us
Update : 25th Feburary 2005 :
Today we got an email from Peter. C. Rickwood - an authority in giant crystals, as you can see from his extremely informative publication - which reads :
I tried to follow that up some years ago and got
nowhere. I suspect it is apocryphal and it being based on a student project
makes me wonder whether they were making a joke. I have been in that area and
was taken to the classic epidote site by an indigenous tracker who ran on foot
whilst we followed in a Landrover! Where we went there was no sign of giant
garnets - just some nicely formed epidote of no great size.
So it looks, as if the giant australian garnets can be finally dismissed as sheer legend.