One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Vitreous material formed of sand or other sediment fused by lightning.
- ‘Although the fulgurite has not been completely excavated, the distribution of the branching tubes is dominantly elongate instead of presenting a semiradial dendritic form of energy dissipation known as a lichtenberg pattern.’
- ‘Armed with rock hammers and shovels, the three geologists began excavating the fulgurite, unaware that what they would eventually uncover would rival the largest fulgurites ever documented.’
- ‘Perhaps once this class of exogenic fulgurite becomes better known, a greater number or variety of occurrences will be recognized instead of overlooked.’
- ‘The clay-soil class of fulgurite, recently discovered in the eastern gold fields of Western Australia, was described as subaerial irregular masses of black glass hosted by clayey soil.’
- ‘At the discovery outcrop, the black glass-lined effusion crater with its glassy tendrils marks the transition from subterranean fulgurite tubes to exogenic styles of formation.’
- 1.1count noun A piece of fulgurite.
- ‘Most people have never seen a fulgurite, and many that have probably did not realize what it was at the time.’
- ‘After thunderstorms on the Florida coasts beach combers find fulgurite in the sands.’
- ‘A 10-foot fulgurite is being prepared for display in the lobby of UF's new engineering building.’
- ‘Without actually seeing the specimen I'd have to say that it does sound like you have a fulgurite.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin fulgur ‘lightning’ + -ite.
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