36 Fascinating facts about Metals

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26 Iridium


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

27. 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.

28. 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.

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

30. 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.

31 Beryllium


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.

32. There’s enough gold in Earth’s core to coat its surface in 1.5 feet of the stuff.

33. Molybdenum is an essential element for mammals (you need it to live) and Molybdenum is also present within human tooth enamel and may help prevent its decay.

34. Tungsten is a naturally radioactive element, but its isotopes half-lives are so long it is considered stable.

35. It’s not true that we are running out of lithium. 8 years ago a new source was found in Afghanistan that contained more than half of the world’s known lithium supply.

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36 Californium-252


Californium-252 costs about $27,000,000 a gram, making it one of the most expensive elements known to man.

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