A basalt sample from the Teide volcano on Tenerife. Collected and loaned to us by Dr. Louise Thomas.
The thin section is dominated by randomly oriented and interlocking tablular plagioclase grains, euhedral pink/grey pyroxenes with some colour variations, and an opaque mineral, probably ilmenite. Minor constituents include olivine which sometimes appears as inclusions in the pyroxene.
Cabinets of curiosities were personal collections of natural and man-made objects displayed in a single cabinet.
It was a fashion that reached its peak in the seventeenth Century, but something that is returning in modern times as uncategorised virtual or travelling physical exhibits, sometimes crowd sourced and changing. The original cabinets of curiosities were the personal and often idiosyncratic collections of wealthy owners, and their main function was to provoke a sense of curiosity and wonder in the viewer. Our Cabinet of Curiosities is a collection of curious things that we came across in museums, and a few things we've found in mineral shows. There isn't a learning objective – they're just interesting.