Cool Limestone Facts
Think You Know Limestone?
Limestone has been around forever, and people have used it for thousands and thousands of years. The Pyramids at Giza are made of limestone, as is the Colosseum. Limestone today is used for many, many things, and is probably part of your life, too!
Limestone is an Animal…Sort of.
Limestone is sedimentary rock, meaning, made of a variety of different things. When limestone forms, it does so in underwater. While under, bits and pieces of stones and dead animals and pieces of dead animals fuse together, and harden, and voila! You’ve got limestone. There is even a type of limestone that a just a bunch of shells fused together in a rock-hard ball. This is called coquina, and it is often used to decorate homes and businesses. Another type of limestone looks like a shiny black rock with engravings that may be pink or red. This is called crinoidal limestone, and it is frequently used to make unique jewelry.
Cave Spikes are Limestone.
Caves are formed when water wears into rock, eroding openings and creating caverns that people later explore. When water drips from cave ceilings, usually from groundwater, it may form stalagmites, the spiky rock formations inside of a cave that resemble pins. Those spikes are made with the same materials as limestone.
Limestone is Good for Animals.
Limestone is over 50% calcium carbonate, a mineral that can positively contribute to the growth of poultry and cattle. Calcium carbonate is especially important to feed to chickens as part of their feed. Chickens with diets rich in calcium carbonate lay harder eggs. While that may seem counter-intuitive for those who want the eggs to hatch into baby chicks, but for eggs to be transported safely, the shell must survive, and a harder shell is best. Limestone will increase the weight of cattle, too, and increase their performance, as well!
Limestone is Also Good for People
You know that relief you feel when you burp? If you drink something carbonated, you can bring that relief on. Many sodas and antacid tablets that we take for heartburn contain the active ingredient calcium carbonate, which is mined from limestone. So, the next time you take a tums, or an Alka-seltzer, remember that you’re eating a rock to settle your stomach.
Limestone is an Intense Fertilizer
When limestone is heated, it produces a carbon oxide that makes soil used for planting food richer and healthier for plants to grow our food. Limestone is heated, ground, and mixed with fertilizer on farms all over the nation. Even better, this is a completely natural ingredient that adds lots of extra good stuff to our food, so you can be happy with limestone on farms!
An Entire House Could be Built of Limestone, and Look Great!
People have used limestone to build their homes for thousands of years. Limestone is a durable material that comes in a variety of colors and textures, and makes for excellent carvings and protection from the elements. In fact, if your home were made of limestone, you could still have marble stairs, fireplaces, and door surrounds, because marble is a type of limestone! Limestone is a great material for many interesting uses.