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The 5 Rarest Elements on Earth

Team StoryWeavers|March 19, 2022, 14:48 IST| 10

We all use different chemical elements in our lives every day without knowing them. Right from the moment we wake up till the time we hit the bed again at night, we constantly take the help of different elements and chemical compounds around us. So this month, we thought of sharing some wonders of these chemical elements with you. From trying out cool Chemistry DIY experiments with eggs, to adding some life-saving chemistry hacks in our activities, to learning about some fun facts about the elements in the periodic table. Today let’s go a step deeper and learn about some of the rarest elements found in the periodic table and their nature.

Astatine is a naturally occurring semi-metal that results from the decay of uranium and thorium. The element is highly unstable as any macroscopic specimen of Astatine produced gets immediately vaporised by the heat of its radioactivity. This makes Astatine a very rare naturally occurring element in the Earth’s crust. Considering its unstable nature, Astatine is named after the Greek word for unstable (astatos). 

Oganesson is a synthetic radioactive element that is highly unstable. It has an extremely short half-life of only 0.89 milliseconds. This means that hypothetically if you had 1kg of Oganesson, it would reduce to 0.5 kg in the first 0.89 milliseconds. Within a matter of a second the entire kilo would have decayed radioactively. Only a few atoms of oganesson have ever been made, thus restricting its usage for scientific research. 

Named after the city of its origin (Berkley, California), Berkelium is a transuranic radioactive chemical element (All the elements beyond uranium (Z = 92) are all synthetic elements and are known as Transuranium elements). The metal rapidly oxidised in air or oxygen at elevated temperatures, forming an oxide. Hence it is incredibly difficult to produce, and just over a gram has been produced in the United States since 1967.

Marguerite Perey discovered Francium while she was researching the radioactive decay of actinium-227. Currently, there are only 34 known isotopes of Francium, ranging in atomic mass from 199 to 232. Named after the place of its origin (France), the discovery of Francium completed mankind’s discoveries of naturally occurring elements.

The word Protactinium comes from the Greek word protos, meaning the first, and actinium, which is the final product of protactinium’s radioactive decay. The element is dangerously unstable, highly radioactive and also has a high toxicity.

What is the rarest metal found on Earth?

Among naturally occurring elements Francium is the rarest metal found on Earth. The discovery of the metal in 1939 by Marguerite Perey at the Curie Institute in Parsis marked the end of mankind’s discoveries of naturally occurring elements.

What is the rarest gas found on Earth?

Xenon is the rarest gas found on Earth. Out atmosphere contains only about 0.000009 % of Xenon. Xenon is a noble gas just like Helium, Neon, Argon and Krypton.

To get a better idea on the arrangements of elements in the periodic table check out this video:

Do you know any rare-earth elements? Do let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author


Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at [email protected] if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!

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Samma khatoon

September 6, 2020

Rare metal are found in Japan China USA and so on atrium is metal they are in grey colors


Muhammad Hashim.M

August 9, 2020

Interesting…… Thank you Byju’s for the information….


Dinesh

August 5, 2020

Good


Haarika YM

August 3, 2020

Very nice…..awesome information ?


Chennakeshava

August 2, 2020

Happy friendship day all my friends


Trrishan Saha

August 1, 2020

Yes! I know some rarest metals of the world:
1. Rhodium,
2. Platinum,
3. Gold,
4. Ruthenium and
5. Iridium.
The most rarest metal of the world is Rhodium.


Manimudrika

July 31, 2020

Thank-you byju’s for the information…


Abhyuday

July 31, 2020

Rhodium is also a very rare metal,looks like silver and is also corrosion resistant and is far more costly than silver or gold costing about 1 crore for 1.5 kilogramst


Manashvi Singh

July 31, 2020

It was very interesting information. Love it 😀


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