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In the Japanese city of Kameoka, which lies just over the western mountains of Kyoto city, an intriguing geological oddity is found. It’s a small subhexagonal-shaped stone of fine-grained muscovite mica hosted on a type of metamorphic rock called Hornfels. When cracked open, their internal cross-sections look like tiny golden-pink flowers. They are called “cherry blossom stones”, after the revered flower of Japan and one of the most recognized icons of the country.

“These flower patterns weren’t always made of mica,” explains Science Alert. “They started their existence as a complex matrix of six prism-shaped crystal deposits of a magnesium-iron-aluminium composite called cordierite, radiating out from a single dumbbell-shaped crystal made from a magnesium-aluminium-silicate composite called indialite in the centre.”

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