Granite is a light-coloured rock that forms from a slow crystallization process happening beneath the Earth’s surface. Granite is sort of a melting pot of different ingredients. It is formed predominantly of quartz and feldspar, with smaller amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other minerals included in.
Here are some cool facts about granite, some you may know and others you’ll be surprised by:
Fact #1: Granite is very hard.
One of the coolest facts about granite is that it’s one of the hardest natural substances in the world. It’s believed the only material harder than granite are diamonds. It’s his hardness that makes it so durable. Unlike most stones which eventually crumble and break, centuries can go by and granite will remain equal strength.
Fact #2: Granite is found in mountains.
Granite is in abundance in the continental crust of the Earth. However, where you will find it the easiest to obtain is in the cores of mountain ranges. Like other deposits, we get granite through quarries that we mine.
Fact #3: Granite is harvested around the world.
Granite takes millions of years to crystallize which means that, much like oil, it’s considered a resource not renewable. Some countries that are best known for procuring granite are Brazil, China, India, Norway, and the United States.
Fact #4: Granite is one of Earth’s most popular rocks.
Granite is the best known igneous rock found at the Earth’s surface. It is used in various major consumer goods and things we use every day. In fact, some say that it can sometimes feel like entire cities have been built around granite.
Fact #5: Granite is the most luxurious rock.
Though some may disagree, for all intents and purposes, granite is the most desirable, luxurious rock there is. It is the #1 desired material for countertops, and granite countertops look especially sophisticated in modern kitchens.
In addition, granite is applied in public sculptures and architecture. It is also an ideal outdoor stone piece due to its high durability.
Fact #6: Granite can come in any colour.
Due to its mineral composition being so variable, you can have granite that is red, pink, grey, or white. Dark mineral grains are usually visible throughout the rock. The colour of granite is in part why it’s proven to be such a sought after rock.
Fact #7: Mt. Rushmore is made from granite.
Mt. Rushmore is carved entirely out of granite. It is perhaps the United States’ most well-known demonstration of granite. Numerous famous buildings and monuments all over the world were created from granite, from America to ancient Egypt. It’s a material that has crossed centuries!
Fact #8: Famous places with granite.
Granite is an important feature in several world-renowned locations including natural phenomenons such as the Stone Mountain in Georgia, Yosemite Valley in California, Pike’s Peak in Colorado, and the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
Fact #9: Granite cannot crack.
It is very difficult to damage granite in seemingly any way. It holds a lot of strength, won’t burn, and in some cases is over a billion years old. Granite is formed under some pretty high heat, making it impervious to damage on temperatures as high as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The recommended way – if there ever was one – to damage granite would be to place something cold on top of it after it’s been heated to an extreme degree. This sudden shift in temperature could potentially cause damage but even then, it’s likely granite will hold. That’s its power!
Fact #10: Curling stones are made from granite
It’s true! Curling stones were originally carved out of granite sometime in the 1750s in Scotland. Over the decades, it’s proven to be an absolutely perfect stone for what’s become one of Canada’s favourite games. Up to 70% of curling stones are created from Alisa Craig granite, a particularly rare stone in limited supply. The best curling stones from this granite cost as much as $1,500/each.
Fact #11: Granite is used for thousands of years.
Granite has been in use for a long time, applied by virtually every culture in the world helping to build bridges, paved roadways, monuments, tiles, countertops, and a variety of other materials. Granite’s also routinely used in the form of crush stone in road construction.
Fact #12: Granite carries radiation.
Like most natural stones, granite is a natural source of radiation. Some granite contains as much as 10 to 20 ppm of uranium. For this reason, building a cellar or basement out of granite can become a trap for radon gas which comes from decaying uranium. A major health risk, radon gas is one of the top causes of lung cancer in the United States. Though most granite is perfectly safe, one must approach with some caution when building enclosed spaces like this.
Fact #13: Rock climbers love granite.
Granite is deeply appreciated by rock climbers who appreciate its stability, steepness, friction, and soundness. There are dozens of granite climbing mountains and setups all over the world. Granite rock climbing is so popular that when you visit rock climbing gyms, what artificial rock climbing walls tend to try and mimic is the look and feel of granite.