Scientists often describe crystals as if they were growing even though they weren't alive. In underground cavities, crystals grow through atoms that connect in regular three-dimensional patterns. Each crystal starts small and grows as more atoms are added. Many grow in waters rich in dissolved minerals.
However, this is not a condition, crystals can also grow from molten rock or even smoke. Under the influence of temperature and pressure, atoms combine to form an amazing variety of crystalline forms. It is this variety and perfection of form and symmetry that has attracted scientists to the study of minerals for centuries. Not all crystals form in water.
Some crystals can form in an element called carbon. However, all crystals are formed in the same way, the atoms come together and become a uniform cluster. The process can take anywhere from a few days to maybe a thousand years. Natural crystals that come from Earth form in the same way.
These crystals formed more than a million years ago within the Earth's crust. They occur when the Earth's liquid consolidates and the temperature cools. Other crystals form when liquid crosses crevices and dispenses minerals to the crevices. Crystals can be formed in different ways.
Some mineral crystals form when pressurized molten carbon cools rapidly. Even if a crystal grows at a rate of one tenth of an inch per day, about 100 layers of molecules must be deposited per second on the surface of the crystal. When, for example, many different crystals grow together, they form a kind of molten mass with hardly any crystal formation. It's possible to grow your own crystals at home or in a laboratory, but you also need to have a starting point for crystals to form.
Crystals are formed through a process called crystallization, which means a transition from chaos to perfection. But there are also crystals that are not found in nature and that are made by scientists, for example, protein crystals or viruses. You can often see the characteristic symmetry of a crystal with the naked eye, but if the crystal is very small, a magnifying glass or magnifying glass is a convenient instrument.