Interesting Facts About the World’s Favorite Metal
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
People recycled gold for centuries. 85% of the gold mined in history is still in use today. This metal has some serious staying power!
Look to the Stars
A recent, observable collision of two neutron stars revealed gold’s origin to scientists. Just like everything else in our universe, gold originally formed through activity between space objects.
A Long History
Historians mark gold as the first metal worked by humans. Some gold objects date back to 4000 BC, around the end of the Stone Age.
Under the Sea
Scientists estimate that the ocean holds 20 million tons of gold. For perspective, as of 2011, humans mined around 180,000 tons of gold through all of human history. Why aren’t we mining for this gold? There are 2 reasons. First, a lot of the gold dissolved into the ocean, meaning that it is extremely diluted. Second, normal gold deposits are encased in rocks miles beneath the surface. Mining that deep would be very difficult for any man or machine today.
Avast, Ye Matey
The gold earrings pirates wore were more than a fashion accessory. In fact, pirates wore these decorative pieces as a form of payment. For example, if a pirate’s body washed ashore or he died at sea the gold earring would act as payment for transportation and a proper funeral.
The Surprising Metal Worth More than Gold
Due to the difficulty of mining it, aluminum’s worth exceeded gold in the 19th century. It wasn’t until people found an easier way to separate the metal that its value decreased to where it is now.
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