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Top 5 Facts about Gold

VO: Chris Masson
Script written by Sean Harris Bonus fact: Olympic gold medals are over 92% silver. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts! In this instalment we're counting down the five most fascinating things that you probably didn't know about gold! Astronauts, India, the Oceans and far-away galaxies all have one thing in common; they love the shiny stuff! Special thanks to our user Daniel Fong for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest!

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Written by Sean Harris

Top 5 Facts About Gold

Bonus fact: Olympic gold medals are over 92% silver. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts! In this installment we're counting down the five most fascinating things that you probably didn't know about gold!

#5: All that Glitters Really Isn’t Gold

Despite jewellery shops seeming sometimes overstocked on gold, it remains an incredibly rare substance. One popular statistic says that mankind pours more steel in an hour than it has poured gold since the beginning of recorded history. Business magnate Warren Buffet says that if all the gold ever mined were collected into one cube, it would be about 20 metres high. The BBC claims that all the above ground gold would easily fit inside Centre Court at Wimbledon. Also, ‘Girl’s best friend’ or not, some estimates say that a one-ounce nugget of gold is less common than a 5-carat diamond. So next time you’re shopping for shiny stuff, accept no imitations but expect plenty.

#4: Astronauts and Airplane Pilots Need Gold

Although around three-quarters of the world’s annual gold supply is reportedly used for jewellery, it does have other applications. Gold is actually an effective material for blocking sunlight and reducing glare. Whilst we’re not suggesting that it’s some kind of sun-block substitute, gold is important in the aviation industry as thin layers are sometimes incorporated into airplane windscreens. Going even further afield, an astronaut’s visor also includes a gold film as an anti-glare safety measure. In terms of other alternative uses for gold, it’s sometimes used as a thread for luxury textiles, and it’s often used in electrical wiring. It’s said that more gold is recoverable from a ton of computer waste than from 17 tons of gold ore, such is its prominence in PC manufacture.

#3: The Oceans Are Overflowing with Gold

Despite above ground gold remaining rare, the Earth still has plenty of the substance to give – only the majority of it’s currently inaccessible, beneath the planet’s oceans. Most estimates claim that between 20 and 30 million tons of gold is trapped within the sea, but we shouldn’t all be headed for the beach just yet. Ocean-based gold is incredibly dilute, so every litre of ocean water contains only, on average, 13 billionths of a gram. There’s a higher concentration on the ocean floor, but mining for gold a few miles underwater is neither easy nor economical. However, if we could extract ocean gold, there’d be enough for every person on Earth to own around nine pounds of it. Cha-ching!

#2: India Loves Gold

For centuries now, India has boasted a thriving market for gold, and there’s an estimated 300,000 jewellers trading in the country today. Some of the highest projections claim that 11% of the world’s total gold supply is worn as jewellery by Indian women – which equates to over 18,000 tons of the metal, and more than the reserves of the US, Switzerland and Germany put together. But keep in mind that India has a population of around 1.2 billion people. In terms of per capita gold consumption, it ranks only 19th in the world.

#1: Gold Came from a Galaxy Far Far Away

Money doesn’t grow on trees, so why should gold grow on Earth?Scientists believe that almost every ounce of gold on our planet came from meteorites that rained down over 200 million years after the world was formed. As a result, the precious metal is discoverable on every continent. A 2011 study by the University of Bristol confirmed gold’s galactic history, highlighting how much the modern world and economy depend on what was a chance event. Study leader, Dr, Matthias Willbold, explains how gold was ‘added to our planet by lucky coincidence when the Earth was hit by about 20 billion billion tonnes of asteroidal material.’ Now that’s a gold medal fact, if ever we’ve heard one!
So, what do you think about the stuff? And what would you do with your nine pounds of ocean gold? For more girl’s best friend Top 10s and man’s best friend Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to!


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