Gold is a valuable commodity. This much is commonly known across the globe. Some people with certain professions or hobbies have a deeper understanding of the yellow metal, whether their knowledge centralizes around the gold’s chemical properties or its performance as an investment tool. But there is plenty of strange information that you may not be familiar with. Check out some of these bizarre facts about gold!
- Recent developments in medical science has resulted in gold being chemically liquified and injected into the muscles of patients with rheumatoid arthritis to treat pain. It’s been reported as successful in 70 percent of all cases.
- Gold is so malleable and ductile that just one ounce can be drawn into a wire measuring 60 miles long. It can also be hammered into sheets so thin that a one-inch stack would contain over 200,000 sheets.
- The amount of steel poured around the world in just one hour exceeds the total amount of gold that has been dug up since the beginning of recorded history (an estimated 161,000 tons of gold have been mined). The metal is that rare!
- The sea is literally filled with gold. But it is extremely dilute; in fact, one liter of seawater contains only 13 billionths of a gram of gold. The only known methods of recovering this gold exceed the value of the metal itself.
- The visors on astronaut helmets are coated in a transparent layer of gold. It’s thin enough to allow astronauts to see, yet it reflects infrared rays, reduces glare, and minimizes heat from sunlight.
- The word “gold” comes the Old English word “geolu,” which means yellow. “Teocuitatl,” the Aztec word for gold, was translated to “excrement of the gods” by Europeans.
- In 2010, the world’s first gold vending machine was unveiled in a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi. The machine itself was covered in 24-carat gold.
- In the 14th century, people believed that drinking molten gold and crushed emeralds was a viable treatment for the bubonic plague. Pouring molten gold down a person’s throat was also a form of execution practiced by the Romans and the Spanish Inquisition.
- Scientists believe that gold exists on Venus, Mars, and Mercury.
- Though gold is tasteless, it is edible and used in food and drink around the world. Asian countries add gold to jelly snacks, tea, and coffee. It’s also common for European countries to add gold to bottles of liquor.
- Elvis Presley owned several cars made by Stutz Motor Company. Every part that was traditionally chrome was converted to gold for his vehicles.
Gold has a very colorful history, as it’s captured the interest of humans for centuries. Want to get your hands on a piece? We recommend jumping on the pre-sale of the 2017 Gold Red Dragon, which is the third release in the Queen’s Beasts series from the British Royal Mint.
Do you know any unusual facts about gold? We’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below!
The following comments are from NOAA:
Ocean waters do hold gold – nearly 20 million tons of it. However, if you were hoping make your fortune mining the sea, consider this: Gold in the ocean is so dilute that its concentration is on the order of parts per trillion. Each liter of seawater contains, on average, about 13 billionths of a gram of gold.
There is also (undissolved) gold in/on the seafloor. The ocean, however, is deep, meaning that gold deposits are a mile or two under water. And once you reach the ocean floor, you’ll find that gold deposits are also encased in rock that must be mined through. Not easy.
Currently, there really isn’t a cost-effective way to mine or extract gold from the ocean to make a profit. But, if we could extract all of that gold, there’s enough of it that each person on Earth could have nine pounds of the precious metal. Eureka!
Great comment, thanks! I was with you until I read “nine pounds of gold”, then I started researching scuba certifications.
25 tons of gold in sea water? It’s a typo I’m sure; maybe parts per billion?
The fourth fact is very strange indeed. A cubic meter is real close to 264 gallons. Which according to your “fact” would mean that there is nearly 189 pounds of gold in every gallon of seawater!
There’s a good chance our original source may have had a typo. Whoops!
You might want to re-evaluate the fourth bullet point above:
* The sea is literally filled with gold. Every cubic meter of seawater contains about
25 tons of gold, totaling about 10 billion tons of gold in earth’s oceans. However,
the only known methods of recovery exceed the value of the metal .
If true, then each cubic meter of seawater would weigh more than 25 tons, (which is not true.)
Thanks for the insight. We’ll have to double check our sources.