Michael Boon releases ancient “magic” every time he hits his hammer on a rock for his TikTok followers.
He splits open the Moroccan geodes, cracks through the shell to reveal an individual wonder of science never seen before.
The social media platform is popular for sharing short videos of dance trends and comedy skits, but for Mr Boon it’s about education and sharing his passion for minerals, gems and crystals.
“Sometimes these rocks and minerals can form hundreds of millions of years ago,” Mr Boon said.
“Opening them, I am the first person who has ever seen the inside of it.
“It’s pretty magical.”
Throughout history, crystals and geodes have been used for religious, folklore and decorative reasons.
And it seems Mr Boon isn’t the only person who likes to witness the moment he breaks apart the rocks to reveal the inner crystal formations.
His most popular video has received nearly seven million views.
Although Mr Boon is not sure 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 about rocks and minerals.
“I think it’s because it’s not something everyone can do,” Mr Boon said.
“I mean most places you can’t just open up a rock and see beautiful crystals inside, like it’s kind of an entertaining thing, you never know what’s going to be inside 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 are a variety of geodes that vary in size and location with the Moroccan geode originating in the Sidi Rahal region of Morocco.
The age and science behind how volcanic gas bubbles turn into hidden crystals is part of the appeal of breaking 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 rock.
“And over millions of years, through heating, cooling and heaps of geological processes, they slowly grow into crystals.”
Childhood passion for pearls turns into business
When he developed a love for lapidary at the age of 11, Mr. Boon to learn the craft of cutting and polishing gemstones by joining the Bundaberg Gem and Mineral Club.
As his collection grew, Mr Boon began turning his ground and polished work into jewellery, which he sold at local markets and even from the front porch 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.
“TikTok is a great way to grow my business and showcase it to an audience much bigger than Bundy,” Mr Boon said.
“Some videos might not get a lot of 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 to open them up and let people see it for the first time, too.”