Encore - Preserved in Amber

October 26, 2019

Ztry (2)

Spiderwebnew (2)

January 2014 Viewer's ChoiceToday and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: Mila Zinkova
Summary Author: Mila Zinkova

Somewhere twenty or twenty-five million years ago, a small flower became trapped in a tree's resin. Over the millennia, the resin hardened and became what is known as amber, preserving the flower inside. At some point, mineral-rich water entered the amber through tiny fractures and crystals of pyrite started to grow around the flower. This process is referred to as double fossilization. Now imagine the same process with a spider web (bottom photo). Note the two spiders on this photo – the one at the lower right just below the web has also undergone pyritization.