By Trevor Nace-Forbes.com
Photo Credit: ERIK RINTAMAKI
A Michigan man made the discovery of a lifetime when he stumbled on glowing rocks on the beaches of Lake Superior. The rocks, which he named "Yooperlites" emit an eerie glow, appearing to be partially molten rock.
Rintamaki, a gem and mineral dealer, made this discovery after hunting for rocks in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, bringing with him a black light. The black light helps illuminate the glowing rocks, which he says litter the Lake Superior beach.
Rintamaki self-named the rocks "Yooperlites" in honor of the endearing nickname "Yooper" for people who live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
The Yooperlites were investigated by both Michigan Tech University and the University of Saskatchewan. They determined the rocks are "syenite clasts containing fluorescent sodalite." To break this down, the rock is made up of fragments of coarse-grained igneous rocks, with a similar composition to granite. What makes these rocks special is the inclusion of fluorescent sodalite.
The mineral sodalite will fluoresce under longwave ultraviolet illumination, creating the glowing yellowish orange veins of Yooperlites. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis at Michigan Technological University confirmed the fluorescent mineral is sodalite.
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