Baltic Amber

August 02, 2005

Bernsteinii

Provided by: Thomas Herrmann
Summary authors & editors: Thomas Herrmann

Walking along the beach at Usedom in northern Germany, it's easy to find pieces of Baltic Amber. Million of years ago, large stands of forests in some parts of the world began to seep globs of sticky resin. This aromatic resin oozed down the sides of trees, as well as filling internal fissures, trapping debris, such as seeds, leaves, feathers and insects. As geologic time progressed, forests were buried, and the resin hardened into a rather pliant and warm golden gem, known as amber. This fossilized resin forms through a natural polymerization of the original organic compounds. Most of the world's amber is in the range of 30-90 million years old.

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