One of the Most Healing & Uplifting Places in the World?
by Brian Vaszily,

You can usually tell if a child will grow up to be a risk-taker – a trait laced with both very positive and very negative potential if there ever was one – by asking them this one question at about the age of twelve:

“If you outside playing and you stumbled upon a cave, what would you do?”

The answers I’ve heard range from “Run away” to “Run away and tell a grown-up” to “Run get my friends and then go back and explore it” to “Run right inside and explore it.”

When I was twelve that last “Run right inside” answer would’ve been mine. Indeed here at age 37, that answer would still be mine, though I’d now rationally add “as long as I had a flashlight and a weapon to defend myself against bears, bats and half-human cave creatures.” (If you saw the film The Descent you’d know these savage creatures really do exist, too.)

The enchanting lure of being the first person -- or at least being the first person in a long time – to explore the cave would be too strong to be too rational about it.

As with many other people, being the first to discover or rediscover anything is a delicious notion. But perhaps particularly because they are dark, enclosed and damp spaces – similar to that most mysterious of places, the womb – discovering a cave trumps every other geographic discovery save outer space and Atlantis.

And so it is that, since I first visited one of the longest and most awe-inspiring cave systems in the world, Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, at the age of seven or eight, one of my life-goals has been to stumble upon a cave and explore it.

And just the other day, I finally achieved that goal by stumbling upon the Cave of Crystals in Mexico.

Like Walking Inside a Geode

Okay, I didn’t really achieve my goal … I discovered the Cave of Crystals without leaving my desk, simply by searching Google, and I only explored insofar as National Geographic’s site and some other sites covering it would let me.

But still it was a wonderful discovery and exploration.

“La Cueva de los Cristales” was in fact just discovered in 2000 by two (lucky) miners leading a new tunnel digging expedition for their company in the Chihuahuan Desert. The cave is located 1000 feet beneath a mountain, and contains translucent gypsum beams as long as 36 feet and as heavy as 55 tons – some of the largest natural crystals ever discovered anywhere.

These massive crystal beams jut from the floor and wall in all directions, and they glow when light is shone upon them. I imagine maneuvering through these crystals would be like getting shrunk to flea size and wandering inside a geode – an intense experience to expand the sense of wonder and awe with our world and universe if there ever was one.

These gargantuan gypsum crystals are also known as “selenite,” which is named after the Greek goddess of the moon, Selene, because of the soft white glow they emit.

According to those who believe in the metaphysical power of crystals, this selenite is supposed to have powerful healing benefits, and help people achieve greater mental focus, relaxation and bring luck.

If that is true, this Cave of Crystals would also have to be one of the most healing and uplifting places in the world. Then again, even if it is not true about the crystals, the sheer visual beauty of the place alone would make it a powerfully healing and uplifting place…

Which is all the more reason I wish I had discovered this particular cave for real, versus via Google – though I’ll still take discovering a giant mud pit over no cave at all.

Meanwhile, if you want to visit this cave, I don’t believe it is open to the public yet so you’ll have to settle for visiting through these pictures like I did (or become a geologist; it seems they allow them in.). You can also learn more about how the “Cave of Crystals” formed at National Geographic’s site.

Cave of Crystals
That's a Lot of Crystal Healing Power!

Cave of Crystals
Some of the Gypsum Crustals in the Cave of Crystals are 36 Feet Long.

Cave of Crystals
"The Sistine Chapel of Caves."