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Where does gold come from and can we just make our own?

Where does gold come from? The answer: space, basically. Supernovae, specifically. Alchemy, sort of. So gold doesn’t actually originate from the core of Earth but actually from a star explosion that showers the universe with debris and well, gold. That means there’s not that much of it actually on Earth (all the gold mined in history fills only 3 Olympic pools) but we can now make our own gold!


Too bad it just takes forever. Find out more about the origins of gold and the future of it in this fascinating animation explainer from David Lunney and Andrew Foerster for Ted-Ed.


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Fun fact: this process, called stellar nucleosynthesis, doesn’t stop at Uranium; it also produces small amounts of Neptunium and even Plutonium. Plutonium can be found in trace quantities in Uranium ore, mostly created by neutron self-irradiation in the Uranium atoms. However, there is the odd atom or two left over from some long ago supernova.