What is a geode?The name geode is derived from the Greek word Geoides which means earthlike. They are mysterious, spherical rocks. We say mysterious because geologists have long debated just how they are formed. These round rocks have a hollow cavity in the center that may or may not contain crystals. If yours turns out to be solid, it is called a nodule.
The rock shop at Thunder Mountain Park has one of the few geode crackers in the country. This custom built high pressure cracker is housed in a stainless steel metal containment with high strength Plexiglas viewing windows.
Two hardened steel jaws, which can exert over 10 tons of pressure on the geode, offers some pretty impressive results. You get to pick out any geode that you like from our selection, we place it in the geode cracker for you, then we let you crack it. The viewing windows allow you to see the entire process, and your friends and family can witness it through the window on the other side. They can even film the entire, super-cool event.
Tips for picking the best geode.Our rock shop has an incredible selection of geodes for you to crack. While geodes can be found in northern Missouri and Iowa, they tend to be of low quality. We only offer the best quality rocks available.
Our geodes are hand selected and even x-rayed to insure that 99% of them are hollow. The Tranca Geodes and Druzy Geodes from Chihuahua Mexico come from roughly 200 miles south of Juarez. Our Moroccan Geodes come from Sidi Rahal in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Here is the way to find the best one.
1. Start by holding it in your hand and feeling the weight. It should feel light for its size. If it's heavy, you may have a nodule and all your hard work will produce little results.
2. The rounder the geode, the better. Irregular shapes have less room for crystal to grow.
3. Shake the geode next to your ear. Occasionally you may hear water sloshing around inside. If you find one of these, grab it! Those are extremely rare.
Safety tips at home.You can crack your own geodes at home, but safety should be your number one priority. If you don't have a 10-ton geode cracker to handle the job, take some precautions.
Kids, always ask your parent's permission first, and let them help you. Wearing safety glasses is a must, and a pair of old gloves can come in handy. Once all that is in place, it's time to crack.
1. Place the stone in an old tube sock to keep any rock chips from flying.
2. Lightly tap the geode in the tube sock with a hammer, gradually increasing the force until the rock cracks. Hitting it too hard to begin with can result in a bunch of little pieces instead of a hollow cavity to admire.
Cracking geodes is just one of the many fun things we have for you to do at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park. The gift shop is filled with all kinds of cool stuff, and everyone loves mining in our sluice. There are trails to hike, the gorgeous lake view to enjoy, and of course, America's most scenic cave tour to explore. It's always a good day when you spend it with us.
One of America's most scenic
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020