When we think of granite, man-made products like stone outdoor features and kitchen benchtops come to mind. But, how much do you really know about this popular natural stone that can be found in homes and businesses across the world?
Here, we look at five interesting, lesser-known facts about granite.
You might know that granite is a natural stone, but did you know that it’s been around since molten lava was forced into the Earth’s crust way back at the beginning of time? This makes it the world’s oldest igneous rock, with a history that spans 300 million years.
Considering how long granite has been around, it’s hardly surprising that granite was utilised by some of the world’s earliest civilisations. In fact, it was used in the construction of major monuments like Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramids in Egypt, and more recently, the Statue of Liberty in New York.
As well as globally recognised tourist attractions, both modern and ancient, granite has also been used to build railways, including the first commercial railway in the United States, the Granite Railway. Blue Hone Granite, which is found in Scotland, is also used to manufacture curling stones that make the sport, curling, possible. You can also find large quantities of granite in rock climbing walls.
Buried deep underground is a lot of granite. Known as ‘plutonic rock’ to the science community, granite makes up the bulk of the Earth’s continental crust. It’s also interesting to note that the white mineral grains that are visible in granite are feldspar, which is the most abundant rock on the planet. Feldspar makes up roughly 60 per cent of the Earth’s surface.
We all know that granite is a pretty sturdy rock, but just how strong is it? Well, it has a density of approximately 73 kilos per cubic foot, which is twice as heavy as the same volume of water. It’s also one of the hardest substances in the world, second only to diamonds. To put the strength and durability of granite into a little perspective, Mount Rushmore is carved out of it, and the third largest mountain in the world, Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas, formed from granite.
Across human history, granite has been utilised as a strong material for everything from everyday tools in Neolithic times to the grand monuments that were constructed by ancient civilisations. Given its pretty spectacular history, it’s easy to understand how this timeless stone is still popular today. Want to take advantage of the strength and durability of granite yourself? Talk to the team at Australian Slate & Stone about our range today!