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What are Dendrites?

dendritic inclusions in talc

Dendrites are Crystal Formations

In geology a dendrite is a crystal with a multi-branching tree-like form.  So it's basically a crystal formation.

Dendritic inclusions are relatively common and can be seen in many rocks and minerals.

Dendrites can also be seen as snowflake formations and frost patterns on glass windows during the cold winter months.

The word 'dendrite' comes from the Greek 'dendron' meaning 'tree'".

Dendritic inclusions can look very similar to organic matter.  In the past stones with this type of inclusion has been mistaken for a fossil.

The patterns on this frosty window are an example of dendritic crystallisation.  They were incredibly clear but difficult to capture in a photo because the sun was shining directly towards the glass.
dendritic crystal formations on an icy window

Article Pictures

The first picture in our article is the mineral talc with dendritic inclusions. It's clickable and redirects to the original image. Photo courtesy of Stan Celestian.

The second photo is a window in my home.  It's clickable and redirects to the original which is a much larger image.

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