Hello and welcome to 'La Sexe Boutique du Marquis de Sade', how may I help you?
How can you help me? You can help me by letting me the floop out of here!
Can you imagine that store? A sex shop that sold items someone like the Marquis de Sade would want to use? I hurt all over my naughty bits just thinking about it. I mean, whips, clamps, rods, plugs....no thanks. Unless there's cookies involved. Then.....maybe.
What? Everybody knows cookies makes everything better. It's like, Newtons 4th law or something. And if you'll give me 5 minutes, you can go look it up on Wikipedia...
No, I'm teasing. There isn't really a shop that sells sex toys the Marquis de Sade would want. (yes there are. Hell, Amazon sells them...) And that picture up there is definitely not something someone would use as a sex toy. (I bet someone would....)
Seriously though, that picture is not what you think it is. It's something I wish I had in my collection. I mean, I can get one, they aren't so rare that they can't be found, but not looking like that, though.
What that is, is a fossil. Kind of. Some will argue with you if you call it a fossil, because, technically, it wasn't ever alive. But, it was, kind of. And that's why some justify calling it a fossil. But, because a fossil is the mineralized preservation of a living creature, some will argue it's not a fossil because, as a whole, it wasn't ever alive. And that's true.
That item there is called a Fulgurite. And it is the preserved remains of a lightning bolt. And, lightning isn't alive, so it can't be a fossil, right? Well, 99% of all fulgurites are formed when lightning hits sand. The intense heat of the bolt melts the sand into a hollow glass tube. Sometimes it's a shapeless tube that looks like a blob. Sometimes it retains the delicate and intricate fingers of the bolt, but usually it doesn't.
Fulgurites can be formed by a meteor impact or a volcanic eruption as well, but lightning is by far the most common cause. Most fulgurites are made out of sand, but they can be formed in rock and soil. But considering most are formed out of sand, and they are created by high heat, most fulgurites are in fact, glass.
But while they may not be an actual fossil, it is a preserved representation of lightning you can hold in your hand.