Iodine is an element that uses the symbol I and has an atomic number of 53. It is part of the halogens group, which includes fluorine and chlorine. We’ve collected a list of fun and interesting iodine facts for your enjoyment below:
- Under normal conditions, iodine takes the form of a dark purple coloured metallic solid, and can also be in the form of a violet gas: The name iodine comes from a Greek term meaning violet-coloured.
- The first discovery of the elemental form of iodine was made in 1811 by French chemist Bernard Courtois: It wasn’t until two years later that it was formally named by another French chemist, Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac.
- While Courtois is credited as the first to discover iodine, he wasn’t able to formally classify it as an element: Courtois made the discovery by accident after mixing in too much acid into a pile of seaweed.
- Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac, the chemist who confirmed that iodine was an element, had many other achievments: He is credited as the co-discoverer of boron, and also was the first to synthesize cyanogen.
- Iodine is the heaviest member of the halogens group: It also has the highest melting and boiling points in the group, and it is considered to be the least volatile and reactive as well.
- It’s also very rare amongst other halogens, being the least abundant within the group: Deposits of iodine are very rare, with Japan and Chile among the few nations that have any significant reserves of iodine available.
Fun Iodine Facts:
- Iodine is used in a wide range of applications, including: photographic materials, sanitation, pigments, supplements for animal feed and stabilisers. Iodine can even be used to detect counterfeit banknotes!
- Did you know that iodine is essential to support human life? It is crucial for supporting thyroid hormones. Not having enough iodine can cause the thyroid to expand, causing serious consequences.
- Iodine can be found in high concentrations in a wide variety of foods, including: eggs, dairy products, seaweed and fish. Iodine is also often added to salt that is sold commercially in supermarkets.
- There are some parts of the world where the typical diet has insufficient iodine, which causes issues: Particularly in the developing world, some areas don’t have access to foods rich in iodine which has been linked to various disorders.