TikTok crystal cracker releases ‘magic’ and helps educate millions of viewers

Michael Boon releases ancient “magic” each time he strikes his hammer against a rock for his TikTok followers.

He splits the Moroccan geodes open, cracking through the shell to expose an individual wonder of science that has never been seen before.

The social media platform is popular for sharing short videos of dance trends and comedy skits, but for Mr Boon it is about education and sharing his passion for minerals, gemstones and crystals.

“Sometimes these rocks and minerals can form hundreds of millions of years ago,” Mr Boon said.

“By cracking them open I’m the first person to have ever seen the inside of it.

“That’s pretty magical.”

A man hitting a rock with a hammer.
Michael Boon just cracks the geodes open with a hammer.(ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos)

Throughout history, crystals and geodes have been used for religious, folklore and decorative reasons.

And it seems Mr Boon is not the only person who likes to witness the moment he breaks apart the rocks to reveal the internal crystal formations.

His most popular video has received nearly seven million views.

While Mr Boon is unsure exactly why the videos have proved so popular, he is excited that more people are learning about science and geology, as he shares his 13 years of knowledge around rocks and minerals.

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“I think it’s because it’s not something everyone can do,” Mr Boon said.

“I mean in most places you can’t just crack open a rock and see beautiful crystals inside, as well as it’s a bit of an entertaining thing, you never know what’s going to be inside of them.

“Sometimes it shatters into a million pieces, other times you get a perfect pair.”

What is a Moroccan geode?

From the outside geodes appear to be regular rocks, but they are hollow and lined with crystals or other minerals.

There is a variety of geodes that range in size and location with the Moroccan geode originating in the Sidi Rahal region of Morocco.

A basket of rocks cracked open to reveals the crystals.
Chemical gas bubbles transform over thousands of years into crystals inside the geode.(ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos)

The age and science behind how volcanic gas bubbles transform to hidden crystals is part of the appeal of cracking geodes for Mr Boon.

“The geodes from Morocco are a limestone geode, to the best of my understanding,” Mr Boon said.

The minerals that create quartz, silica dioxide, fill a cavity in the stone.

“And over millions of years, through heating, cooling and heaps of geological processes they slowly grow into crystals.”

Geode rocks cut open to reveal minerals.
Geodes came in a variety of mineral composition and size.(Supplied: Michael Boon)

Childhood gem passion turns to business

Developing a love for lapidary as an 11-year-old, Mr Boon began learning the craft of gem cutting and polishing by joining the Bundaberg Gem and Mineral Club.

As his collection grew, Mr Boon began transforming his cut and polished work into jewelery which he sold at local markets and even from the front verandah of his Queenslander-style home.

Mr Boon decided to do the “grown-up thing” and get a steady job as he got older but eventually decided to follow his crystal love and open his own business.

TikTok’s platform has helped the regional Queenslander reach a global customer base.

A man holds a geode cracked open revealing crystals.
Michael Boon loves to share experience of geode cracking.(ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos)

“TikTok is a good way to expand my business and show it off to an audience that’s much bigger than Bundy,” Mr Boon said.

“Some videos might not get many views but lead to more sales — I had one video like that that led to 400 sales in two weeks.

“But for me, I just like opening them up and letting people see it for the first time as well.”

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Crystal CrackerMichael Boon(ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos)

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