🐉 That’s right, #GameOfThrones fans, dragonglass is real.
🐉 Perhaps the most enigmatic glass of them all is obsidian, a naturally-occurring volcanic glass—and the inspiration for the all-powerful dragonglass in Game of Thrones.
🐉 Obsidian forms as lava, spewed from a volcano, and quickly cooled at surface temperatures. It’s found all over the planet, from Yellowstone National Park’s Obsidian Cliff to Italy’s Aeolian Islands, typically in sizable, concentrated deposits. Unpolished, the igneous rock can look dusty gray or brown. But polished, it becomes pitch black and shiny—sometimes so shiny, you can see your own reflection.
🐉 For thousands of years, humans have been turning the midnight glass into weaponry. Its lattice-free insides may be unpredictable, but obsidian breaks in a very reliable “conchoidal fracture” pattern. This sharp, curved fragmentation makes it popular for arrowheads, which get their bite not just from the central point, but the small, teeth-like ridges along the blade. (Game of Thrones seems to consider dragonglass best suited for arrowheads, too.) This defensive application, along with obsidian’s everyday use as a cutting tool, made the volcanic glass highly sought-after. Earlier this year, a paper proposed the existence of an ancient Ice Road, along which humans traded obsidian into the Arctic.
🐉 In Game of Thrones, dragonglass isn’t formed from the searing heat of a volcano, but, as its name suggests, from the fire sprayed from a dragon’s belly. As the series comes to an end after eight long seasons, there’s a lot of pressure on the shimmery substance to perform: Dragonglass, along with Valyrian steel, is the only material known to kill white walkers, the menacing undead enemy. Hopefully this amorphous solid—and the stories carved from it—can hold up.
🐉 Mine the #linkinbio to unearth more information about the real life dragonglass 👉 @popsci


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