Why We Need Iron

It’s quite an ego boost to recognize that we’re breathing with the help of star material1 that survived a planetary catastrophe2, spent at least 800 million years in the Precambrian seas3, and then was buried for another 500 million years or so until you picked it up or somebody dug it out of the ground and put it in your vitamin supplements.

That’s much more glorious than just rusting away – almost – but as this Australian Broadcasting Company presenter describes it, the process of rusting is a very, very delicate balance that we, and other iron-based life, do all the time.

Featured image: Hemoglobin F by David Iberri. Public domain.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_II_supernova
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_catastrophe
  3. https://www.britannica.com/science/banded-iron-formation

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