Generated with sparks and insights from 36 sources

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Introduction

  • Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed by the rapid cooling of lava.

  • It is an igneous rock, often dark in color, and can be extremely sharp when fractured.

  • Historically, obsidian was used for cutting tools and weapons, such as blades and arrowheads.

  • Modern uses include ornamental stones, gemstones, and surgical scalpel blades.

  • Obsidian is found in volcanic regions, with notable sources in the United States, such as California and Oregon.

Formation [1]

  • Process: Obsidian forms from the rapid cooling of felsic lava.

  • Composition: It mainly consists of silicon dioxide (SiO2), usually 70% or more by weight.

  • Appearance: Typically dark in color, resembling mafic rocks like basalt.

  • Structure: It is a glass and not crystalline, making it a mineraloid.

  • Stability: Obsidian is metastable and can devitrify over time, forming fine-grained mineral crystals.

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Historical Uses [1]

  • Tools: Used for making sharp blades and arrowheads.

  • Trade: Obsidian was traded extensively in ancient times, indicating its value.

  • Rituals: Used in rituals, such as circumcisions and cutting umbilical cords.

  • Mirrors: Polished to create early mirrors.

  • Artifacts: Found in archaeological sites, indicating its widespread use.

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Modern Applications [1]

  • Surgical Blades: Used to make extremely sharp scalpel blades.

  • Ornamental: Used as a gemstone and for decorative purposes.

  • Tools: Still used to make cutting tools in some cultures.

  • Scientific: Used in archaeological studies for dating artifacts.

  • Jewelry: Popular in making various types of jewelry.

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Geographical Distribution [1]

  • United States: Found in the Mountain West, Southwest, California, Oregon, and Washington State.

  • Europe: Sources include the island of Milos in Greece.

  • Mesoamerica: Extensively used and traded by pre-Columbian civilizations.

  • Oceania: Used by the Lapita culture and on Easter Island.

  • Trade: Obsidian was traded over long distances, indicating its value.

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Obsidian in Popular Culture [2]

  • Minecraft: Obsidian is a block used in the game for its high hardness and blast resistance.

  • Entertainment: Obsidian Entertainment is a well-known video game developer.

  • Mythology: Associated with the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca, known as 'Smoking Mirror'.

  • Literature: Often referenced in fantasy novels and games.

  • Art: Used in various forms of art and sculpture.

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Related Videos

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<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Obsidian for Beginners: Start HERE \u2014 How to Use the ...", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgbLb6QCK88", "channel": { "name": ""}, "published_date": "Sep 15, 2020", "length": "" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Hack your brain with Obsidian.md", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbsAQSIKQXk", "channel": { "name": ""}, "published_date": "Jul 7, 2023", "length": "" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Obsidian: The King of Learning Tools (FULL GUIDE + SETUP)", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSTy_BInQs8", "channel": { "name": ""}, "published_date": "1 month ago", "length": "" }</div>