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TITLE: Crystal Growth

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Crystals grow! In stony subterranean gardens, they branch and bristle as trillions of atoms connect in regular, three-dimensional patterns. Each crystal starts small and grows as more atoms are added. Most of the crystals shown in this website grow from water rich in dissolved minerals. But crystals also grow from melted rock and even vapor. Under the influence of different temperatures and pressures, atoms combine in seemingly endless crystal variations.

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits