Magnesium is an element that has the symbol Mg and an atomic number of 12. It is shiny grey in appearance, and is the 9th-most common element on earth. How many of these fun magnesium facts did you know?
- Magnesium gets its name from an area in the Greek region of Thessaly: The district of Magnesia is close to the Aegean Sea in central Greece and receives close to 2 million visitors annually.
- As legend has it, the discovery of magnesium was an accident that occurred after a farmer noticed his cattle were cured of scratches after drinking from a certain well: It turns out the water of the well was high in magnesium sulfate.
- It wasn’t until 1808 that the metal was formerly discovered by Sir Humphry Davy: Among his many discoveries, the talented English chemist is credited with isolating chlorine, sodium and pottasium.
- Magnesium is commonly used as a structural metal, ranking third behind aluminium and iron: The major uses of magnesium include aluminium alloys, die-casting and removing sulphur during the production of steel and iron.
- Magnesium is highly flammable, and the worst thing you could do to try and put out a burning pile of magnesium would be to throw water on it: That’s because magnesium can have a very serious reaction when burning if water is applied to it.
- If you burn magnesium, be prepared for a very hot flame! That’s because magnesium can burn as hot as 3,100 °C (5,610 °F). It’s incredibly difficult to extinguish a magnesium fire, short of completely covering it in dry sand, so don’t try any experiments at home.
Fun Magnesium Facts:
- It’s crucial for all living things to consume magnesium as part of their diets: The average human has around 23 grams of magnesium in different parts of their body. Failing to get enough magnesium in your diet can have serious health implications.
- Foods that are known for being high in magnesium include: Leafy vegetables – particularly spinach – nuts, cereals, cocoa and spices. Alcoholics often suffer with low magnesium issues as excess alcohol can flush magnesium from the body. Good news for chocolate lovers – dark chocolate is high in magnesium!
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