igneous rocks

Igneous rocks form when magma, or melted rock from inside the Earth, cools and hardens. They can form above ground when magma erupts from a volcano as lava. They can also form deep inside the Earth's crust and then be exposed at the surface by the overlying rocks wearing away. The crystals found in igneous rocks have angular shapes. They have not been worn like sedimentary rocks or squished like metamorphic rocks.

Image credits: main image, courtesy of AMNH; Rosamond Kinzler: AMNH.