Salt, salt and more salt at Salar de Uyuni.
- Salar de Uyuni is also known as Salar de Tunupa which can be translated from Spanish as ‘salt flat enclosure’.
- Salar de Uyuni is the world’s biggest salt flat with a measurement of 10,582 km squared (4,086 miles squared), which can be found in Bolivia, South America.
- Salar de Uyuni has a salt crust that ranges between a few centimetres up to 10 metres (32 feet) thick, that covers the area of a salt water lake that ranges from 2 to 20 meters (7-66 feet) in depth.
- Salar de Uyuni contains a large amount of chemical metals including sodium, magnesium, potassium, and 50 to 70% of the world’s lithium resource that is extracted to make batteries.
- Salar de Uyuni has little wildlife, but has 80 species of visiting and migrating birds, including three species of flamingos, as well as a few islands, where the main foliage is cacti, as well as hot springs and geysers.
- Whilst some salt is extracted from Salar de Uyuni, it is estimated that the flat contains 10 billion tonnes (11 billion tons) of salt.
- Salar de Uyuni has a train cemetery, where trains were used in mining industries until 1940, and this has become one of the most popular attractions on the salt flat.
- Salar de Uyuni was originally believed to be completely flat, and can make photographs look distorted, but GPSs have shown it has some tiny undulations in the surface.
- Salar de Uyuni is sometimes covered in clear water, making the salt flat also the largest natural mirror.
- NASA uses Salar de Uyuni, since it is unmoving and easily spottable, to figure the positioning of NASA’s satellite.
Salar de Uyuni, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salar_de_Uyuni>
Salar de Uyuni Facts, 2011, Travel Unearthed, <http://www.travelunearthed.com/salar-de-uyuni-facts>
Just a bunch of mountains.
- The Alps is a range of mountains that form a crescent shape in Europe, that covers a distance of 1,200 km (750 miles).
- The Alps can be found in Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Monaco.
- The Alps is the home of many glaciers.
- There are 13,000 species of vegetation and 30,000 species of wildlife, many of which are native to the Alps.
- A mummified man was found in the Alps at the Austrian/Italian border in 1991, said to be 5,000 years old.
- Fourteen million people live in the Alps region, and the area attracts approximately 120 million visitors every year.
- In the Alps there are 82 official summits that are at least 4,000 m (13,123 ft) high, and the highest peak is Mont Blanc which is 4,810 meters (15, 780 feet) high and is on the French and Italian border.
- The Alps have been the source of many minerals and crystals, which has included copper, gold, iron, cinnabar, quartz and amethyst.
- It is suggested that between 40,000 to 80,000 men died in World War I due to avalanches on the Alps.
- The Alps provide water that those in the region drink; use for irrigation purposes; and create hydroelectric power in over 500 power plants, that can produce up to 2900 kilowatts of electricity per hour.
Alps, 2013 Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alps>
Silver is pretty, white and shiny.
- Silver is harder than gold but softer than copper, and is approximately 2.5 on the hardness Mohs Scale.
- Silver conducts electricity and heat better than any other metal.
- Silver is one of the only materials that absorbs oxygen, which enables it to rid substances of germs and bacteria.
- Silver can be beaten into sheets, drawn into threads and modelled.
- The alloy, mixture of chemical elements, of silver is called electrum.
- The main producers of silver are currently Peru, Bolivia and Mexico.
- Silver in its natural state can be found mixed with gold or other ores like copper, zinc or lead, and is rarely found without contaminants.
- Sterling silver is the mix of 7.5% copper with silver.
- Silver was popularly used in many ancient coins, and is now used in medical equipment, some medicines, jewellery, silverware, medals and in the photography industry.
- Silver is currently worth $32.13 Australian dollars per ounce.
Blackwood, A 1979, Gold and Silver, Wayland Publishers Limited, England
Silver 20 November 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver>
Ooooooooh – pretty! Well, pretty if polished and cut. Polished and cut facts coming right up!
- Diamond is one of the rarest and prettiest stones in the world.
- Diamonds are made from carbon.
- Diamond is the hardest natural material ever discovered. The hardness results from the strong carbon atom arrangement.
- Originally, the main diamond producers were India, Africa and Brazil but currently, Australia and Russia have the greatest supplies and mine more diamonds than any other country in the world.
- Diamond is normally found in rivers or in a type of rock called kimberlite.
- Diamonds are bought and sold using a measurement called carats, which is equal to 0.2 grams.
- Before kimberlite was discovered, diamond was often dug out from the sand.
- Now people use x-rays to separate diamond from kimberlite rock.
- 75%-80% of people’s engagement rings contain a diamond.
- Nearly 80% of the diamonds that are mined are used for tools or other equipment since they are not suitable to be used as gemstones.
Diamond 12 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond>
Herbert, S 1980, Diamonds, Wayland Publishers Limited, England