This mineral gets its name from its resemblance to the green skin of a snake. Water, pressure, magnesium, silica, and iron are its recipe and ingredients. Despite its softness, this rock was wrought when a slab of the Earth’s mantle was forced to the planet’s surface with the closing of an ocean between two continental plates. The conditions and material that create serpentine are toxic to plant life. Click on the image for a larger view.