Quiz Question


One of a continuing series


I previously posted a review of Outland, a movie set at a mining base on Jupiter’s innermost moon, Io. They were mining titanium, and I wondered why. Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. Why are people going all the way to Io to mine titanium?

So much for that. This week’s quiz question is: What is the most abundant element in the Earth’s crust? You may be surprised how much of the crust is this element.

Post your answer as a comment below. I will provide the answer by Friday if necessary.

Update and the correct answer (?) from Mike

Mike has provided the correct answer, but he indicates he guessed at it. Readers, this stuff was taught in science class in high school. I don’t expect Ferris Bueller to get these, but nobody else has an excuse.

Of course the answer is that the most abundant element in the Earth’s crust is oxygen. Thinking about the Earth running out of oxygen? Forget about it. As far as we can dig the Earth is almost half oxygen. A lot of this is tied up inside silicon dioxide, where a formidable chemical bond makes it expensive to extract in terms of energy expended. Of course there is water and lots of calcium carbonate, all rich in oxygen. By mass, oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe. Breath deeply.


2 thoughts on “Quiz Question

  1. Well, there’s a lot of iron in the core. But the most abundant element in the crust is probably oxygen. After typing that, I went to Wikipedia to avoid embarrassing myself. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Quiz Question | Skeptical Analysis

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