25 Awesome Facts About Metals and Their Fascinating Properties

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1Platinum

Exposure to platinum can turn snails into their evolutionary decedents, the slug.


2. All of the tin produced in the US is recycled. The United States has neither mined tin since 1993 nor smelted tin since 1989, but USA is the largest secondary producer, recycling nearly 14,000 tons in 2006.


3. Silver has been found to kill bacteria previously thought immune to antibacterial agents.


4. Low Background Steel was the steel that was produced before atomic bombs were tested. It is the only kind of steel that can be used in various medical and scientifically sensitive equipments since post-nuclear steel is contaminated by radiation.


5. There is an ancient iron pillar in Delhi which was erected in 3rd Century A.D. by an Indian king. It is renowned for its inability to rust.


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613,000 Tons of Silver

Due to a wartime shortage of copper, the Manhattan Project borrowed almost 13,000 tons of silver from the US Treasury to make wiring for the electromagnets in isotope-separating mass spectrometers. The wire, worth over a billion dollars at the time, was removed and returned after the war.


7. Titanium can osseointegrate, which means that it can fuse with bones and is one of the reasons why it is used extensively in biomedical implants.


8. There is more gold in a ton of mobile phones than a ton of gold ore. It takes a ton of ore to get 1g of gold, but you can get the same amount from recycling around 41 mobile phones.


9. Until 1735 no new metals had been discovered since prehistoric times; iron, copper, silver, gold, zinc, mercury, tin, lead and bismuth. When Georg Brandt recognized a tenth, Cobalt, he became the first ever known person to discover a metal. For thousands of years, cobalt was mistaken for bismuth.


10. Mercury in vaccines is not only not harmful but is in fact there to make the vaccine safer by preventing the growth of bacteria or fungi that could possibly contaminate the vaccine.


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11Gold

Gold is yellow, unlike its grey neighbors on the periodic table, due to Einstein's special relativity. Its electrons are moving so fast, some over half the speed of light, that they have a relativistic contraction, shifting the wavelength of light absorbed to blue and thus reflecting a golden glow.


12. The element 'Cobalt' gets its name from the German 'kobold' which means 'goblin'. Miners found cobalt veins near their silver, and blamed this strange and dangerous metal on goblins, and thus named it after them.


13. More uranium is released by coal-fired power plants in one week than what has been released by all nuclear power plants combined (including Chernobyl/other accidents) over the past 50 years.


14. There is a metal called gallium that melts at 85.5°F or 29.7°C, so you can melt it by holding it in your hand.


15. It has been proven that calcium is not as good for your bones as Vitamin K. Contrary to popular belief, milk is not the best thing for your bones. Avocado, peaches, and bananas are much better.


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16Iron fish

Lucky-fish-shaped lumps of iron are reducing cases of Anemia in Cambodian communities suffering from poor diet.


17. Magnesium can be very effective against anxiety. Many people are quite deficient in it and a good supplement can be as effective as meds but with positive side effects.


18. Bismuth has a half-life a billion times longer than the age of the universe.


19. Gold can grow on trees. This actually happens. When a tree has deep root growth, it can “strike gold” and absorb it through a biochemical process and in turn deposit the mineral into the tree’s bark and leaves.


20. A cube of iridium of 6 inches on a side (15 cm) would weigh as much as an average adult human.


21Titanium

In order to obtain the vast amounts of titanium needed for the construction of the SR-71, the CIA created fake companies throughout the world to purchase the metal from the biggest supplier, the USSR.


22. More than half of the world’s supply of palladium is used in catalytic converters, which converts as much as 90% of the harmful gases emitted in automobile exhaust into less noxious substances.


23. A ton of Osmium, the densest occurring natural element, would only be about the size of a 10-gallon fish tank.


24. Aluminum used to be one of the most expensive metals in the world. Only the wealthiest ate with aluminum utensils, while lesser nobility ate with gold.


25. Beryllium, the 4th element on the periodic table, is rarely used by chemists. However, because it is light and strong, it is used in aircraft and cell phones. It is also highly toxic. Just 1/4 milligram (mass of a grain of salt) can kill a rat.

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