14 Interesting Facts About Granite
It is a well-known fact that granite is one of the most demanded materials for bathroom remodels, kitchen renovations, and landscaping rock. But there are some lesser-known interesting facts about granite that may surprise you:
- Did you know that granite has been present on Earth for 300 million years? It is the oldest igneous rock (rocks formed by cooling lava or magma). Granite itself takes several million years to form. The longer it has to cool, the larger the crystals will be (because there is more time for the crystals to grow), and the shorter time it has to cool the finer the crystals will be.
- Did you know that granite is also called plutonic rock? Plutonic rocks are rocks that form deep beneath the Earth and granite is the main component of continental crust. The reason it is called ‘plutonic’ is because ‘pluto’ was the God of the underworld, and plutonic rocks are basically formed ‘under’ our world. Whereas other rock like sedimentary (sandstone, limestone, etc) are formed on earth’s surface.
- Do you know the name of the white, white, gray, pink or reddish crystals that you see in granite? These are called feldspar and it is found in such abundance that it comprises almost 60% of the Earth’s surface. There are even green feldspars, which end up making green granites.
- Did you know that the word granite derives from the Latin word “granum”? The definition of granum is a coarse grain and granite is named after the grain-like patterns that are formed by densely packed crystals in it. These crystals are formed from feldspar. And as for the beautiful three dimensional sparkle in granite, that is created by a mineral called ‘mica’. As mentioned above, granites are mostly made of feldspar, and about 20% quartz, and 10% mica.
- Do you know what the density of granite is? It is about 162 pounds per cubic foot. This makes granite one of the densest and heaviest stones, making it a perfect candidate for hardscaping projects.
- We all know that granite is one of the most durable and hardest materials. If we talk about its hardness on the Mohs hardness scale then granite ranks on scale 7. To give you some perspective on that, a steel nail is also around 7, whereas a masonry drill bit is around 8, and a copper penny is around 3.5. Only a few other minerals are harder than granite: Topaz and Diamond.
- The Statue of Liberty is one of the monuments that incorporates granite because of its toughness and durability. Other than the Statue of Liberty, granite has been used by the ancient Egyptians and various other constructions as well.
- The first commercial railroad of the United States the granite Railway of Quincy, MA. was also built using Granite.
- Kangchenjunga of the Himalayas is the highest granite mountain in the world.
- Granite does not contain any harmful chemicals or gases; therefore it is a favorite as a green building material.
- From a far it may not look like it, but the world-famous wonder of the world: Mount Rushmore is actually a granite mountain. Workers used dynamite and jack hammers to carve into the mountain’s tough edifice. You’d have to get right up close to it to see the grains of the granite.
- The Earth is made of granite. The Earth’s crust is about 60% granite, making it one of the most common rocks on our planet. This makes sense when you realize that granite is ‘cooled’ magma, and the earth is essentially a ball of magma, with a thin solidified crust.
- Just like the snowflake, no two pieces are the same. Every piece of granite is a unique combination of minerals in a variety of arrangements and colors. Red and blue granites are the rarest, while white, gray and black are the most common.
- Considering granite is dense, tough and formed from cooled magma, it is highly heat resistant. Therefore, it can withstand tremendously high temperatures: over 480 degrees. This doesn’t mean however that you should put hot pots directly on granite, as it may ruin the finish, and require re-sealing, as the finish itself is not as strong as granite.
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