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Facts About Iron

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Iron is considered to be the 10th most abundant element in the Universe! Did you know that our Sun and other stars have iron in them? It is also the forth most plentiful element on Earth. It is rarely found by itself and in most cases, it has to be removed from other elements. When iron is combined with certain elements, it creates a stronger metal including production steel and iron ore.

Iron's electron shell diagramIron’s electron shell diagram. © Greg Robson/Pumbaa.


Iron is a relatively soft metal when it is in its pure form. It has a white to silver appearance. It is unknown who discovered it but it is documented that the Egyptians used iron around 4000 BC. Its name is actually from the Latin language, ferrum. Iron is highly rust able.


Iron was used in India to construct the Pillar of Delhi. It has stood the test of times being in the elements for over 1600 years, and it has not been affected by rust. Even early prehistoric men used iron. There source of iron was from meteorites. There was even a time period that was named after iron, The Iron Age. It was a time where iron was used with other metals to create weapons and other items.

Pure ironPure iron. © Alchemist-hp.

Other use

Iron is not only found in Earth and used for construction or other objects, but it is also found in our blood. Actually nearly every organism on Earth has iron in its body. It is used in the body to create red blood cells to carry oxygen to the cells. It is also found in muscles and other organs. When your body is low on iron, you may start to notice something is not right. You could be sleepy, grumpy, impaired immune system, and shortness of breath.

Interesting facts

Did you know that within the human body, there is enough iron to make a nail? When alloyed with other metals, iron makes cast iron, pig iron and steel. Since iron rust so easily, it is necessary to coat the iron with either paint or a coating material of some kind. This is true even when the iron is alloyed with other metals.

More on Iron

  1. Who discovered iron?
  2. Anemia: Iron deficiency