Here are ten facts about the world’s most used metal:
1. Iron is a silvery-white metallic element. Its chemical symbol is Fe – which comes from the Latin word for iron, “ferrem”.
2. One third of Earth’s mass is believed to be iron, most of which lies deep within the Earth’s core. Scientists believe it’s the flow of liquid iron deep within the Earth that creates the electric currents that generate our planet’s magnetic field.
3. Iron is also abundant in the Earth’s crust – it’s the fourth most common element after oxygen, silicon and aluminium. Iron is not found on its own in nature, but in minerals such as hematite and magnetite.
4. Iron is found in the sun, other stars and planets, and meteorites. The Hoba meteorite in Namibia contains more than 80 per cent iron and is the largest naturally occurring piece of iron on the Earth’s surface.