Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Geological Definition of the Day (#3)

Here is an old favorite from my days at the University of Arkansas where Dr. Manger would have us memorize this one for SGE initiation:

cactolith: a quasihorizontal chonolith composed of anastomosing ductoliths whose distal ends curl like a harpolith, thin like a sphenolith, or bulge discordantly like an akmolith or ethmolith.

From the paper: Hunt, C.B. 1953. Geology and geography of the Henry Mountains region, Utah.

Unfortunately I do not have the dictionary from whence it came, so I had to google it. Risky, I know. But this is one I could never forget. Wikipedia has an interesting blurb about it: "Whilst he was in fact describing an actual geological feature - a laccolith which he saw as resembling a cactus [1] - he was also, tongue-in-cheek, commenting on what he saw as an absurd number of "-lith" words in the field of Geology." But it is Wikipedia after all, so take the story as you like.


Travis Lamar Atwood said...

Holy crap I had forgotten about that!

ReBecca Hunt-Foster said...

LMAO how can you forget that classic one ;)