When lightning strikes sand it creates a mineral called fulgurite, a log-like crystal that looks to be made of glass.
Fulgurites are crystals that form when strikes of lightning come into contact with sandy soil.
The lightning hits the earth with temperatures that are so hot, it melts the sand particles in the soil, which then form together in the shape of the lightning strike as they cool.
The phenomena is extremely rare, but finding the resulting fulgurite is even less common. They form below the surface of the earth, but sometimes appear when wind or ocean tides remove the sand or soil that covers the crystal.
There is one famous image of a fulgurite that you may have seen – but it’s actually just a normal sandcastle. Well, not a normal sandcastle, it’s extremely impressive and detailed, but nonetheless it was built by sand sculptor, Sandcastle Matt.
Rocky areas can sometimes produce fulgurites too, but rather than looking like a tree root, it appears as though the rocks have been coated in glass.
Fulgurite is fragile and can be broken easily. So if you ever do come across a crystal formed by the phenomena, wrap that thing in your softest blanket.
Good luck searching folks.