Gold has been with us for ages.
Throughout human history, men have waged wars and conquered for gold.
The shiny metal has been used for coinage, jewelry, and arts. And it once was the foundation of our monetary system.
But there’s more to gold than meets the eye.
Here are 13 surprising facts about gold that you probably didn't know.
1. Gold comes from the outer space
It is exactly what you think it is. Gold is an alien. 👽
Almost all of the gold discovered today did not originate on Earth. Instead, it came from meteorites that hit our planet 200 million years after it was formed.
2. All the gold ever mined can fit into a 68-feet cube
To put it another way, that's roughly the height of a 6-story building.
If you want to know more about investment gold, read our beginner’s guide.
3. Gold is 6 ten-billionths of the Sun
Apparently, all those songs and poems about the golden sun is not just a lovely poetic expression.
A careful examination of the Sun's spectrum reveals that about 6 ten-billionths (0.0000000006) of the mass of the Sun consists of gold atoms.
4. Gold grows on trees
Money does not grow on trees, but gold does!
Australian scientists discovered that Eucalyptus leaves contain gold.
Eucalyptus roots can reach depths of up to 130 feet underground in search of water. Because gold deposits are found in water and underground, the Eucalyptus tree absorb microscopic gold particles, which are then transferred to the leaves via photosynthesis.
5. Medieval Europeans thought drinking molten gold with crushed up emeralds might cure the Bubonic Plague
This emerald-gold concoction was one of the strange cures used during the devastating plague that killed about 25 million people in Europe.
6. That’s huge! The largest gold bar in the world weighs 250 kg
It was made by the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation in 2005. Based on current price of gold, this gold bar is worth more than $14 million.
The funny thing is, the bar could easily fit into the ordinary shoe box. Its dimensions are 17.9 inches by 8.9 inches by 6.7 inches.
You can see and even touch it at Japan’s Toi Gold Museum.
7. There are 20 million tons of gold in the ocean
In search of gold? Well, now you know that the oceans are a good place to look.
Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to extract. The ocean is deep, meaning that gold deposits are buried a few miles underwater. And when you get to the ocean floor, you'll discover that gold deposits are also encased in rock and must be mined through.
8. There’s an asteroid close to Earth that holds 20 billion tonnes of gold
Rejoice, people of Earth!
The asteroid called Psyche 16 is thought to be packed full of gold and precious metals, and worth eyepopping $10,000 quadrillion. That is far more than the global economy, which is valued at approximately $103 trillion.
Sounds amazing, right?
But new studies suggest Psyche 16 may actually be less heavy metal and more hard rock.
Whatever the situation is, astronomers may soon have a better understanding of this mysterious asteroid.
9. The first use of gold coin as money was in Lydia, 6th century BC
During Croesus' reign, these coins were made from electrum, a gold and silver alloy found in the region's rivers.
The gold coins featured a lion or bull on one side and a seal on the other.
10. An average adult human body weighing 70 kg contains about 0.2 milligrams of pure gold
We are golden. ⭐
Traces of gold can be found in human body in several different places. These include heart, brain, blood, and our joints.
11. A one-ounce nugget of gold is more difficult to find than a five-carat diamond
Gold nuggets are chunks of native gold discovered in soils and stream beds. Nuggets are typically 70 to 95 percent gold, with the rest being mostly silver.
12. Switzerland has the highest amount of gold per capita in the world
The Swiss National Bank has the world's seventh largest gold reserves holding 1,040 tonnes of gold.
Every Swiss thus owns approximately 128 grams of the precious metal, excluding any gold bars, jewelry, or other personal items made of gold that they may have stacked away.
13. About one-fifth of all the gold held by the world’s governments is in London
A hidden gold mine lies under London's streets.
It spans more than 300,000 square feet beneath the City of London, the financial district in the heart of the U.K. capital.
There is a maze of eight Bank of England gold vaults beneath the pavement of Threadneedle Street, each stacked with gold bars worth a total of around $200 billion…
… and that’s it for now!
Of course, there are many more amazing gold facts to be included in this list. But, if left uninterrupted, it might continue into eternity. 🙂
But stay tuned for more intriguing gold stories, including one about the golden secrets of Fort Knox, one of the most secret places in the United States.