Another part of the Harvard Museum of Natural History is their Earth and Planetary Sciences Gallery. It consists of hundreds upon hundreds of different rocks and minerals from all over the world. It was particularly interesting to me (as a chemistry major from undergrad) because you can see how the same compounds look completely different, even though they’re made up of the same materials. The location, temperature, pressure, age, etc. all played a major role in how the crystals were formed. And I found that neat.
Also, they were shiny.
I’m not a geology buff, but I still appreciated how special all of the samples were that they had on display. Pyrite alone can appear so different, based on the different elements that are embedded in it. The sample above is the classic “Fool’s Gold,” and I can see why.