Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Enter the Fray – if you Dare


9.5cm x 7.5cm x 4.5cm

Green chrysotile in veins of varying size

alternates with the dark serpentinite matrix in this cabinet specimen.

This silky fraying mineral is  a variety of the infamous asbestos.

From Mine Lac d’Amiante, Quebec

***   ***   ***

Inspired by The Daily Post Photo Challenge

Categories: It's a Hobby, Mineral Collecting, Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. OK, that’s just about the COOLEST thing I’ve ever seen. A fraying mineral??? Did your heart just leap when you saw the prompt?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggie–Just the Best take on the topic. Frayed minerals–who knew??!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If that was the side of a hill and I slid down it, my rear would hurt real bad.


  4. Wow, that’s another mineral I’ve never seen. Great picture. Oh, have I mentioned in the past that I’m jealous?


  5. I remember the excitement and blown-mind feeling in science class when first seeing asbestos. Asbestos, and talc. Asbestos, talc, and mica (which I knew about before that class). Minerals you could do stuff to with your fingernails? Weird.


  6. I have to echo the previous comments. Fraying minerals! … and they are really beautiful, at least until you said asbestos – and then I understood the dark side.

    So what exactly is fraying? The green part that almost looks like strands?


    • Yup, exactly that, Joanne. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

      Bulk chrysotile, whose hardness is about the same as that of a human fingernail, is easily crumbled to fibres that are, in fact, bundles of fibrils. Naturally-occurring fibre bundles range in length from several millimetres to more than ten centimetres, although industrially-processed chrysotile usually has shorter fibre bundles. The diameter of the fibre bundles is 0.1–1 µm, and the individual fibrils are even finer, 0.02–0.03 µm, each fibre bundle containing tens or hundreds of fibrils.Chrysotile fibres have considerable tensile strength, and may be spun into thread and woven into cloth. They are also resistant to heat and are excellent thermal, electrical and acoustic insulators.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Shhh don’t tell folks this is asbestos Great choice for the challenge. 🙂


  8. Wow – as many have said — too cool.

    Fascinating how it is we think certain defining parameters about something, then lo and behold, you walk in a drop a rock or two, and presto – we learn something new and really cool. 🙂

    As for the asbestos part — makes me wonder — are all parts and forms of it, even in a “static” state, if you know what I mean, deadly? Or is only through processing and mining and transformation that certain compound and elements change, thus releasing the hell it is?

    Any thoughts or links to point me in the direction needed?

    Great images Maggie 🙂


    • Hi Pat, and welcome to… [dum-dum-dum-DUMMMMM] The Fray! [scary voice and music]

      OK. Enough of me poking fun. I am not an expert, but I do take care handling asbestos. But I take care handling all minerals.

      “In situ” or as you say, in its static state, no harm befalls. The fibers must be released and inhaled to do damage. The same applies for quartz (silica) dust, coal dust, and any other foreign particle that enters the lungs.

      As for references, here’s a link from the mineral site that I frequent. It will give you a good idea of the interpretation of term hazardous as it applies to asbestos. You will quickly note that it depends on who you ask. That is, a governing body concerned about repercussions and lawsuits will say one thing; a mining company, such as the one in Black Lake, Quebec, who employs many people will say another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol — I do so love some drama and fanfare Maggie 😉

        Thanks for the additional info and for the link.

        I had thought to myself, normally something has to change, an alteration in composition, but when in doubt, better to ask the necessary questions. 🙂

        Have a great day and weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have since had a chance to talk to the resident geologist. There are several varieties of asbestos, all of them are harmless as they sit in nature. Chrysotile, the variety shown here is the least hazardous in terms of harsh action on the lungs. Others are more rigid, and when the micro fibres enter the lungs, there is greater chance of damage. That is, the ends will not flex and may pierce lung tissue.

          According to my source the piercing of the lung tissue may cause harm, or the lungs may be healthy enough to deal with the injury. However, in cases where the lungs belong to someone who smokes… a whole ‘nother story. The chance of incurring lung cancer increases.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Cool! Nature produces some of the oddest and most beautiful things. Thanks, Maggie.


  10. Nice to see such a unique take on this challenge, never seen this kind of effect in minerals before, so thanks for teaching me something 🙂


  11. Cool! Who knew asbestos could be so interesting! Excellent response


  12. interesting choice for the challenge, that’s a cool subject to photograph


  13. Well, who’d’a thunk! Great informational post and comments on this one, and a brilliant and unique solution to the prompt. As for asbestos being a naturally occurring thing, I’m ‘frayed I never knew that before! 😉



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