Copper is one of the world’s most important metals, boasting a wide range of uses, from electricity transmission to plumbing and more. Despite its abundant presence in our daily lives, it is likely you may not be aware of many interesting facts about it. Explore these fascinating facts about copper that will leave you impressed and considerate of its value.
The Use of Copper Dates Back Thousands of Years
We can trace copper’s history as a useful metal back to ancient civilizations that existed over 10,000 years ago. Anthropologists believe that humans first discovered and began utilizing copper around 8,000 BCE, and artifacts made from copper surfaced in various parts of the world, including ancient Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia. The ancient Egyptians even used copper in their medical practices for its antimicrobial properties.
Copper Is an Essential Nutrient
Copper is an essential trace mineral the human body requires to function properly. Copper plays a crucial role in various physiological processes, including the formation of red blood cells, the maintenance of blood vessels, the immune system, and nerve function.
The human body cannot produce copper. Instead, it comes from our diet. Foods rich in copper include oysters, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables.
The Statue of Liberty Is Made of Copper
One of the most iconic symbols of freedom, the Statue of Liberty, is made of copper. The statue’s outer layer consists of 300 copper sheets, each measuring 3/32 of an inch thick.
Its copper exterior was a shiny golden color when crews completed the statue’s construction in 1884. However, over time, exposure to the elements caused the copper to oxidize, resulting in the statue’s famous green patina.
Copper Is a Highly Efficient Electrical Conductor
Copper’s excellent conductivity makes it an ideal choice for electrical wiring applications. It is an incredibly efficient conductor of both electricity and heat, outperforming all other metals except for silver. Its high conductivity is why manufacturers use copper to make network cables that have high transmission rates.
Silver’s higher cost makes copper a more cost-effective choice for most applications. Because of this affordability, most of the world’s electrical wiring systems rely on copper to transmit power efficiently.
Copper’s Unique Antimicrobial Properties
Copper has unique antimicrobial properties, meaning that it kills a wide range of harmful bacteria and viruses upon contact. This ability has led to the development of various copper-based products to help reduce the spread of diseases.
You’ll often find copper-infused door handles, light switches, and even hospital beds that diminish the spread of viruses. Copper’s antimicrobial properties gained renewed interest amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with researchers exploring its potential to help combat the spread of the virus.
Copper is a fascinating and versatile metal. We can trace its use back thousands of years across numerous applications. Consider these interesting facts about copper the next time you stumble upon the metal. Take a moment to appreciate its incredible properties and historical significance.
Categories: Interesting Stuff