Road salt has been a point of contention lately, what with all this wintry weather. If you live in a snowy climate, you're probably used to seeing warehouses and dump trucks full of the stuff. But where does all that ice-melting goodness come from? National Geographic brings us this fascinating, oddly soothing video explaining the unsung hero's origin story.

The numbers thrown around in this video are almost too huge to grasp; at roughly 18 tons per truckload, the U.S. used nearly a million trucks' worth of road salt in 2013. One can only imagine 2014's number is already pretty healthy thanks to this year's wacky winter weather. Makes the Ocean's 11-style 24-ton salt heist pulled off by Sochi Olympics organizers seem like a drop in the (salty) ocean by comparison. [National Geographic via Digg]