You can thank the guys toiling in this pictures for the fact that you don’t have to change your tires very often: They’re mining sulfur, which is mainly used to vulcanize rubber and make it more durable.
Every 19 gallons of petroleum we refine leaves behind a half pound of sulfur byproduct—far more than we can even pretend to have use for. Luckily, some ingenious researchers at the University of Arizona, may have devised a solution that transforms the rancid yellow element into a new breed of battery.
Located in East Java, Indonesia, the Kawah Ijen volcanic crater has an eerie beauty to it. But its turquoise waters are filled with deadly acid thanks to the volcano's sulfuric output. That doesn't stop sulfur miners from braving the toxic gases.
The sulfur in your match head comes from the earth just like any other ore. However, most other minerals aren't still excavated by hand. From the edges of giant acid pools.
If you've ever visited Old Faithful and the other geysers at Yellowstone National Park, you've likely come away with two reactions. First, it's one of the most captivating sights in all of nature. Second, the place stinks like rotting eggs.
The Earth was a very different place 3.5 billion years ago. In the absence of oxygen, many scientists believe Earth's earliest ecosystems survived on sulphur, but researchers have long been unable to find any proof of this hypothesis, in the form of fossilized microbial life.
It's hard to know where to begin when calculating the effects that climate change might have on our planet, but I'm guessing most people haven't considered the smell factor. Global warming could super-charge the production of a particularly smelly gas.
A recent proposal to control global warming is to release sulfur droplets into the atmosphere, which would hopefully block out some of the Sun's rays. Venus has been running an eons-long simulation of just that plan...and it doesn't look good.