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10 Pretty Rocks That Are Deadly

  Our planet produces many riches, and mesmerizing rocks are commonly discovered underground. While many that are mined can produce beautiful gemstones and necessary minerals, some are actually toxic. You wouldn't think a rock could poison you, but these can. These surprising crystals and rocks look beautiful from afar but are deadly up close. These are the ten deadliest rocks that have ever been mined.
 

1. Arsenopyrite

This rock is often mistaken for fool's gold (iron pyrite), but with a 46% arsenic content, even touching the mineral can cause severe damage.

2. Cinnabar

This scarlet colored mineral is found near volcanoes and sulfur deposits. Its mercury component makes it a deadly mineral and those who come into contact with it may experience tremors, loss of sensation, and death.

 

3. Chrysotile (Asbestos)

When small crystals of asbestos become airborne and are inhaled, they can destroy the human lungs and cause cancer. Asbestos trading has been banned in most countries, but it can still be found in the lining of old buildings.

4. Chalcanthite

This rock is typically found in arid regions. When the crystals break down in water, they kill all animal and plant life by shutting down all vital functions. In the past, they were used to clear ponds of excess plant growth.
 

5. Coloradoite

Named after the place it was first discovered, in Boulder Colorado, this mineral is found in magma veins. This toxic mineral forms when mercury fuses with tellurium, and when heated it releases poisonous dust.

6. Galena​

The ancient Egyptians used to use this rock as a kohl to reduce the sun’s glare. Although it’s safe to handle, the rock is brittle and there is a high risk of lead poisoning if you’re exposed for prolonged periods to the crystal’s dust.

7. Hutchinsonite

Named after a Cambridge mineralogist, this rare mineral is a hybrid of thallium, arsenic, and lead. It’s found across Europe, and those who come into contact with it can suffer severe sickness, hair loss or even death.

8. Orpiment

This rock, made of arsenic and sulfur, is found in hydrothermal vents. For many centuries it was ground down and used as a paint pigment and in sealing wax. It’s still used today to make semiconductors, infrared transmitting glass, and fireworks, but simply touching this mineral can release neurotoxins.

9. Stibnite​

Sometimes referred to as antimonite, this deadly antimony laced rock has similar effects on humans to arsenic. Before its fatal properties were detected, it was used as an alternative to silver for making utensils.

10. Torbernite

Named after Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman, this mineral, made of uranium, is found in granite. It's admired by collectors for its green crystals. However, since it’s radioactive, the mineral can release deadly radon gas if heated.
 
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