8.55" Free-Standing, Polished Red Septarian - Madagascar

This is a beautiful polished free form sculpture carved from red septarian. The septarian comes from the Betsiboka Region of Madagascar and was deposited during the Jurassic period. The base of this sculpture has been cut flat to display without the use of a stand.

This septarian's deep red color is a mystery. Some suggest that the clays and mud were baked by a nearby geothermal source. Another possibility is that the the concretion is coated in fine siderite and pyrite crystals that tinge the mud a rust red color. Because this variety of septarian can have some crazy fracturing, intense heat and pressure is the more likely culprit.

Septarian or septarian nodules are concretions containing angular cavities or cracks, called "septaria", filled with calcite and aragonite. A concretion is a hard, compact mass of rock that often forms around decaying organic matter. In the case of septarian nodules, the concretions formed around decaying sea life in a marine environment.

The exact mechanism for how the cracks form in the concretions is a mystery. One possible mechanism is the dehydration of the clay-rich core of a concretion, causing it to shrink and crack. The cracks could also be caused by gas expansion produced by the decaying organic matter within a concretion. Earthquakes have also been suggested as yet another mechanism.

The cracks in the concretions are then filled in with minerals such as calcite (yellow), aragonite (brown), and sometimes pyrite, causing very interesting patterns. They have often been described as looking like dragon's skin. They are frequently found as geodes with hollow, calcite crystal-filled cavities. More rarely, the fossils that originally started the formation of the concretion are still preserved in the septarian.
Ambondromamy, Betsiboka Region, Madagascar
8.55 x 5.5 x 3.7"