Things you find in most state parks: trees. Rocks. Twigs. Bushes. Rocks. Maybe a deer. Some leaves. Rocks. Pebbles. Dirt. More trees: Fern trees. Oak trees. Big trees. Small trees. Rocks.
Things you find Crater of Diamonds State Park: a crater. Diamonds. (DIAMONDS!)
Crater of Diamonds State Park is a real park that actually exists, located in Murfreesboro, Ark,. and consists of a 37-plus acre field that is the "eroded surface of the eight largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world." It's also the only place in the world where anyone—literally, anyone—can just go and search for diamonds.
And their policy is "finders, keepers." So yeah, just go find diamonds and you get to keep them, no questions asked.
Which is exactly what Michael Detlaff, a 12-year-old native of North Carolina, did while visiting Crater of Diamonds, the crater of diamonds, while vacationing with his family last month. After searching for "less than 10 minutes," Detlaff found a 5.16-carat brown diamond.
It is the 27th largest diamond found in the park (ever) and the 8th largest brown diamond.
Found by a 12-year-old.
In a crater where you can just find diamonds.
He found a free diamond (well, almost free—it costs $4 for kids age 6-12 to enter the park and $7 for adults. But if you can train your child under 6 to mine diamonds while you wait in the car, then it's free and that's a real bargain).
Waymon Cox, an employee of the park, said in a statement, "It is thrilling any time a child finds a diamond here at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Michael was excited to have found his own diamond, as just about any boy would be, but he was absolutely awestruck when he realized its significance."
Read that again.
Has it sunk in yet that kids are just finding diamonds? And it's thrilling every time? According to International Science Times, Michael's Diamond could be appraised at $15,000.
"This diamond is truly glorious," Cox continued, before coming to this conclusion: "To Michael the entire experience may have felt like a dream, but it is certainly a dream come true, and an adventure he will remember for the rest of his life."
The statement also says, "Grateful for the blessing of a diamond find, the Boy Scout named his gem the God's Glory Diamond." God's Glory Diamond is the 12th diamond found at the park this year.
It's all almost too thrilling.