Petrified wood: what is it? In essence, it is a fossil. Petrification is the process through which a tree or plant that resembles a tree turns into stone through mineralization. It happens when plant matter is buried by silt or volcanic ash and is shielded from decomposition by organisms and oxygen. The original plant material is then replaced by silica, calcite, pyrite, or another inorganic (but attractive) substance like opal as groundwater with high concentrations of dissolved solids passes through the sediment.
The original woody substance becomes a fossil as a result, frequently displaying retained characteristics of the bark, wood, and cellular structures. Naturally, it takes millions of years for that to occur.
Petrified wood is a three-dimensional depiction of the original organic material, in contrast to other plant fossils, which are often imprints or compressions. Some petrified wood specimens are so perfectly preserved that people don’t recognize they are fossils until they pick them up and are startled by how heavy they are. These specimens have very flawless preservation, which makes them uncommon. However, examples with easily visible wooden structures and bark are relatively common.
The images below serve as evidence that petrified wood is one of nature’s most stunning creations.