Hey, I’m Rudy… The Rock! I am willing to tell you about my first crazy contact with what is called “human” scientists (quite different to my usual rocky neighbors).
The last million years, it was calm and silent since my eruption birth at Conical Seamount. We lived in a peaceful stony community at 1400m below what the fish call “the dying interface”. Sometimes sediment sisters and brothers couldn’t hold onto the slope and fell on top of my head, but that were probably the only, exceptional disruptions that I experienced before during this Quaternary era. Compared to now, I have to admit my life was quite boring.
But then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, weird noise and lights disrupted my continuous meditation. It was kind of scary, I never see such a thing before: A big, how I learned later, human-created octopus, as yellow as some of my sulfur cousins, suddenly appeared and sat down next to me. Two minutes later, I couldn’t believe my eyes: It thatched me softly and then brutally grabbed me, simultaneously destroyed my barnacles haircut and put me inside a plastic shelf. I realized some other fellows already sat, relaxing in different compartment of this shelf. Well, making new friends is always good, but I have to say, some of them were quite stinky (but please don’t let them know).
After a short rock time, the unexpected travel was over and we crossed the “dying interface” (oh my hard rocky god, we are pioneers among the rocks!!), but as you see, I am still alive, maybe the fishes were wrong after all…). But the adventure was not over yet. When we were taken out of the shelf, we were on a huge, big piece of wood (called ship) and it was my first contact with these crazy, weird, but interesting, moving, pluricellular creatures called humans. First they put me in a bucket, than, a few minutes later, they put me on a table inside the “ROCK LAB”. One of them was shouting “freeze!” The others didn’t move. One other was shouting some code for each of my new friends and me. I received the code SO299_026_ROV_05 (But I am still called Rudy!… At least by my rock friends…).
After every rock got its personal code, each of us was first flash lighted with a “camera”, then we were mustered with a “ruler”. Then one human took me outside again and guess what: I got sliced in two pieces with a “saw”. My hard heart was broken from then on and since then I am living in multiple bodies. Because this wasn’t over yet: One human said: “one more for the thin section”, I thought “what the hell does that mean?” and one of my new bodies got sliced again. Then the human said “one more for the geochemistry” and I was thinking “Oh my god, again?!” and they continue slicing me until there was 6 pieces of me, a real horror movie! But my soul remains unbroken!
While my several body pieces were drying on the table, one human looked at one of them with a “lens”. I recognized his shiny blue deep water blue eyes. He told me I am a volcanic, porphyritic rock with 1-4 mm clinopyroxene, 1-2 mm phlogopite and 1 mm plagioclase phenocrystals. Additionally, I have magnetite microcrystals, because I am very attractive. And I am covered with a Manganese crust (The parasite of submarine volcanic rocks). They called me a BASALT. But sadly, I wasn’t the only one in the room, I have more relatives than expected (but hey, big patchwork family!). The human said, we were quite common, but interesting and beautiful compared to some carbonate colleagues for example… When some of us were hosting strange, foreign rocks called xenoliths (a rock in a rock), they jumped around and were quite excited (but why? They are so old!). When they observed Greenschist brothers, they told each other “Look at that, interesting! What is it, Thor?”. When they got a hydrothermal brother with well crystallized sulfide crystals, they were shouting in the lab “AWESOME! THIS ONE IS MINE!! Don’t lick and wash your hands!!” (I told you these were crazy creatures). When sediments came up from the ocean, the humans were asking “do we also have rocks? Should we sample this as well?”. When they saw foraminifers, they said “call Brent!”, when there were other fossils “get Alan here!” and when the fossils were beautiful: “this one is for Stanis!”.
In the rock lab, as deeper they were working into the night, the louder the music became. Unfortunately they didn’t play my favorites (as you might guess ;): “The Rolling Stones”. When the humans were finished describing, they wrote everything down on a paper. Then one of them was happy and shouted “Feierabend!”, but another one said “No we have to digitalize this all”. I don’t know whether I would like to know what that means, but the first human rolled his blue eyes.
Overnight, I swat like in a human called “sauna” and lost a lot of water. On the next day, for the first time of my life, my fine-grained skin was dry. Finally, the humans put my several body pieces in some “plastic bags”. Tragically, I had to say goodbye to my “geochemistry” and my “thin section” pieces. The plastic bag were sealed, apparently it would be another “dying interface” for fish and humans, because it is impossible to breath, but luckily I am still a rock. Eventually the human made some weird noise with a machine to “print labels”. I will always remember this machine’s sound for my remaining rock life. The labels were patched on the plastic bags, what makes me “ready to fly” in a blue plastic box. There I met my basalt colleagues again. It is hard to joke when several plastic layers separate us. Now time is getting boring again in the box. I wonder what happens next, but so far, I think I became a milestone for the science (hahaha). If the adventure is going to have a sequel, I will definitely let you know! Big hard rock promise!
Cheers from the rock lab!
Rudy the Rock