Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fulgurite ...Beach Comber's Lottery Ticket

Photo from

Well I have wanted to learn more about this subject for a long time..and so I am sharing what I have learned which is a little more than what I knew already...but for those of you who find this "Secret Beach combing treasure " as exciting as I do you can find some great information above at the links.

First read the great article in Our State Magazine about Mr. Green , I actually met him I believe when he came to my bead store Ocean Beads looking for fulgurite  and if I had any to sell...but alas we did not is that rare to find unless you know what to look for ...and I am happy to say I was blessed to find a awesome large specimen  a few weeks ago and when you look at the picture you will see why.

Now I have to tell you one of the picture is from and I will mark it ....because to find it like I have stated is difficult and it is a rarer find than Sea Glass.  But I do have pictures of my recent finds.

Fulgurite is the result of Lightening striking the sand ...during those incredible , dangerous yet beautiful storms we get and leaving behind a deposit , some look like jagged shards of glass, and yet others which is what is more commonly found here....looks like a tube of concrete spit....and inside if you choose to break them open you will find magnificient formation.  Mine I chose not break and you will see why when you look at the picture.  

Mine when the lightening struck the sand trapped about a 1 inch rock and some shell pieces inside a "opening" as part of its branch.   I have seen many pieces people have had but none like this one.
I also included a picture of some very small lightening spit...these to the average person are just rocks ,but alas they are fulgurite, you can tell by the color, texture and most clearly the shape and  smoothness.

It takes as the Our State Article states  "50,000 degrees fahrenhite" hit the sand in an almost atomic force to create a fulgurite ...there are places to look and its not on the flat part of the beaches as seen in the movie "Sweet Home Alabama"  although the gentleman who collects and sells his pieces helps in the creation by planting "Lightening Rods" in the sand prior to a big storm and then goes back and digs up any that he might have been gifted with.    No you have to look around the dunes and the tops where the lightening is most likely to strike , and as you will read in the article , Corolla is the second best place to find them...although I have found mine all over , just a little more work and makes the find that much more worthy of appreciation and excitement.

So next time you go to the beach and looking around, you can find beautiful shells, occasionally sea glass , but if you find a fulgurite you have hit the beach comber's lottery....

My treasure , Fulgurite found in Hatteras , I call this one the Peace Pipe as that is what it looks like about 6 1/2 inches long...and pretty weighty , but it is a beautiful example of a Beach Comber's Million Dollar Lottery ticket.
Study the color and texture so next time you go to the beach you might just find one too

Look closely and you can see the little shell and rock pieces trapped around the rock and the light blue triangle you see is actaully a hole that light is coming through.

lightening spit

The smallest piece is about the size of a quarter and the other piece about  inch and a half, click on the picture and in the enlarged version you can see marks in the larger piece of shells or rocks that were probably shattered during the process

What I love about the small one is the little indentation  that dark spot is actually a place where a rock or something was in the way when it was formed....They kind of look like miniature Sculptures.


  1. Oh beautiful pictures,I highly impressed with this post.Such a nice post Thanks
    beach art

  2. I found one this summer, another member of the family found two of them...the slight slanted sand slope (try saying that three times fast) uncovered them and let them stand out, with enough walking we could have found even more...but the OBX is a lot of walking.