What is petrified wood, you might ask?
When you think of being a rock hound, you might not think of petrified wood right off the bat. However, petrified wood is a very nice find for any rock hound!
Well, petrified wood is wood that has turned to stone. The wood does this through a process that is known as per mineralization. This is when the organic materials in the wood have been replaced with minerals, such as quartz. When this happens, the wood retains its original shape. This is a really, really cool type of fossil, and the petrified wood often looks just like the real thing! It is usually brown like a real tree, but has been found to be grey and sometimes even green in color. Petrified wood is usually found underground.
Petrified is a unique type of fossil, because it is an actual 3D dimensional representation of the tree. The wood is petrified when wood is buried underground and suffers a loss of oxygen. Wood usually takes less than a hundred years to petrify, and there are entire woods that are made up of petrified wood. These are called petrified forests. There are petrified forests in the USA, in such states as California, Mississippi, Arizona, and Washington, and also in Australia, Greece, and the Ukraine.
Petrified wood is used in so many different ways. It is used in jewelry, and many people believe that it actually has healing qualities. It is used in home decor and crafts, and is of course, displayed in many, many museums. It is pretty common, and can make for a beautiful addition to any rock hounds collection!