Enhydro agate – a secret water chamber

The Hazel Tree

Agate (2)This little lump of greyish stone has something very unusual and interesting in its core:   a bubble containing water that has been trapped within the rock, maybe for as long as 200 million years.

Agate (1)The scientific term for this formation is ‘enhydro’ or ‘enhydrous’ agate.   This particular specimen is chalcedony, banded in light grey and white, and it comes from Brazil.

In most cases, the liquid within a chamber gradually deposits a sparkling geode of crystals as the rock cools, and any remaining water drains away or evaporates.  However, for reasons which I don’t pretend to understand, some rare specimens still contain a bubble of liquid.   It’s like a kind of Jurassic chocolate liqueur, only the outer casing is a bit harder!

Amazingly, if you shake the stone, you can hear the liquid quietly sloshing around, and if you place a light behind it, you can see the water level. …

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