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Interesting Facts About Oxygen (O)

By Edited Aug 10, 2016 1 6

9 Oxygen (O) Facts

Oxygen, you all know what it is, without it I'm not writing this article and you aren't reading it. It is one of the basic building blocks of life itself, but besides just that, it has many other interesting facts about it, some you may have not known.

1. Oxygen forms chemical bonds with almost all other elements, creating the corresponding oxides. For example, rust is actually the formation of iron oxide (Fe2O3) and Lime is actually calcium oxide (CaO).

2. Oxygen on Earth actually usually exists in the form of O2 called dioxygen, but also exists as O3, ozone, mostly in the atmosphere but also exists on the surface in smog.

Life WIth Oxygen
3. The O3 in our atmosphere helps to protect the Earth from UV rays from the Sun. If the UV rays we're able to pass through the atmosphere unhindered, life would not be able to survive. Ironically O3 on the surface is harmful to animal lung tissue.

4. Oxygen is the 3rd most abundant element by mass in the Universe, behind Hydrogen and Helium, and the most abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust.

5. O2, in liquid form and in the presence of a magnetic field, forms a magnet and has been shown to be able to form a bridge, between the two poles of a magnet, capable of supporting its own weight.

6. Aside from being one of the two elements that bond to form water (H2O), oxygen also dissolves into water, which is the oxygen that fish and other creatures breathe.

7. At the present rate of creation, by photosynthesis, and consumption, by respiration and decay, the entire Earth's oxygen is renewed every 2000 years.

8. The bright red color of your blood is because of the oxygen attached to your red blood cells. After those red blood cells have released their oxygen and picked up a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) you blood turns a dark red, or a maroon color.

9. Humans inhale more than 6 billion tones of oxygen each year.


Oct 2, 2008 5:03pm
Sorry, but number 8 simply is not true. As a former EMT I've seen many shades of blood and they are all red.

It is true that oxygenated blood (in your arteries) is bright red. However, the blood in your veins that is oxygen poor/carbon-dioxide rich is not blue. You could call it dark red, crimson or burgundy...but no one would call it blue.
Oct 3, 2008 5:00am
Looks like you are right Doug. I did some checking around and it seems it only appears blue through your skin because of how the light is absorbed and reflected by your skin and blood. Looks like my biology teacher is a big fat liar.
Jun 10, 2009 9:12am
very nice article
Jun 21, 2009 3:19am
6 billion tones a year by a human being, that is really amazing.
Jul 9, 2009 4:33pm
I heard the other day that the BRAIN starts becoming oxygen deprived as we age.. I can't remember the exact age but somewhere in the 50's I think it was, the brain becomes short on oxygen.
Jun 25, 2013 7:36am
Great article. Great facts too.
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