Nine Amazing Facts About Gold

There’s just something magical about gold, right? It has that bright, cheering, luxurious glow to it, but that’s just its appearance. Gold is also so much more than its looks, it’s used in scientific, industrial and even medical applications thanks to its other properties.

Let’s find out more about the amazing Au!

It’s out of this world

Almost all of the world’s gold was brought to the planet by meteorites that hit the earth around 200 million years after it first formed. There’s also some still floating around in space – NASA believes that many near-Earth asteroids contain billions of tons of gold.

We may have to dig deep

After this lengthy bombardment, a lot of the planet’s gold has ended up inside the core of the Earth. There’s a lot of it – enough to cover the entire surface of the Earth to 1.5 feet in depth.

They’re not reserved!

We often think about the gold reserves of the US, the IMF, Germany and Switzerland, but these stashes are dwarfed by the amount of gold in the hands of India’s housewives. Together, they own 11% of the world’s gold – more than all these major reserves put together.

Gold is helping us to fight cancer

This precious element isn’t just a pretty face (as it were), it can help to fight one of our biggest killers. Scientists are developing a technique which involves injecting special gold nanoparticles into cancer patients. The “greedy”, fast-growing cancer cells grab the floating gold and take it in through their walls. Once it’s there, oncologists can zap the patient with almost-infrared light. The nanoparticles absorb the light, convert it to heat and “cook” the cancer cells, which then disintegrate. It’s working well in mice so far!

Thar’s gold in them thar hills!

Aside form the gold in the core of the Earth, there’s an estimated 52,000 tonnes of mineable gold in the crust. This treasure is worth around $2 trillion.

Highly malleable

One ounce of gold can be beaten flat into a sheet of almost 100 square feet. If you choose to draw it into a wire instead, you’ll should be prepared to travel 50 miles.

Lots of bling

Out of the world’s total gold supply, around half of it is tied up in jewellery or in industrial uses. It may pain married couples to know, however, that they lose around 6mg of gold from their wedding bands every year, just from wearing them.

An expensive cube

All of the gold that’s ever been mined in the world would fit into a cube with sides of 68 feet. Almost half of this amount has come from Witwatersrand in South Africa.

There’s also gold in the sea

There’s thought to be around 20 million tons of gold in the world’s oceans. However, there’s hardly any point trying to collect it, as the concentrations are around one part per trillion! There have been a few madcap harvesting schemes dreamed up over the years, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a sea-gold billionaire.

 

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