Did you know that your poop contains gold?
Scientists have detected microscopic amounts of precious metals in poop – including gold, silver, and platinum. Apparently, the metals get into us through our interactions with a wide range of items, including hair products and detergents. Among other mechanisms, microscopic fragments can probably be simply inhaled or end up in your food.
Dr. Kathleen Smith of the US Geological Survey has estimated that the annual output of one million people contains elements valued at $13 million.
Although some critics suggest it wouldn’t be economically viable to harvest these elements, the USGS suggested that the gold in poop is at a level they describe as “a minimal mineral deposit.” If this equivalent occurred in rock, it would be considered a potential mining prospect.
For more information on microbes, precious metals and poop on microbes and cars, read our classic blog post.
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