Whether it’s in your walls, floors or tiles, this versatile stone makes appearances everywhere. Check out these fun facts about limestone now!
Limestone is everywhere, but it is often overlooked. What could be so interesting about such a common rock? But it might surprise you how many fun facts about limestone we found.
For example, did you know that limestone forms in shallow seas that are warm and calm? And that limestone is a biological sedimentary rock? There are actually pieces of dead sea animals in the limestone fireplace you love sitting around.
While limestone is usually mostly white or other light tones, it can actually come in a wide variety of colors, including blue and black!
This limestone fact might surprise you… humans and animals regularly consume limestone. We bet you didn’t know that one!
In livestock, ranchers use it to supplement their feed. Humans use medicine derived from limestone to battle heartburn and gas. Tums, anyone?
Limestone can take on many different features and looks. Also, randomly, it can change over time into metamorphic rock too! We told you this was a very versatile rock.
So, check out these limestone facts and see how much you learn.
20 Fun Facts About Limestone
1. It’s in caves
If you have ever been on a cave tour and learned about stalactites and stalagmites, then you have seen limestone.
These formations are the limestone that is left over after water evaporates. These beautiful features make it easy to see why we use this stone in so many ways!
2. Limestone is very versatile
The most common places to see limestone used are in landscaping, exterior brick, or fireplaces. However, this stone is also used to thicken paint, added to livestock feed, and as chalk, among other things.
Next time you eat a burger, remember that the cow likely ate some limestone to beef up. Not the most appetizing thought, is it?
3. Limestone is rarely pure
If you get the chance to see completely pure limestone, you will notice it is white. However, the stone you usually see has strands, veins, and other impurities from different minerals forming in the limestone over time. These impurities make limestone beautiful, though.
4. Take some limestone if you feel gassy
Ok, don’t literally eat limestone. But if you have heartburn or feel gaseous and take Tums or Alka-seltzer, you are eating calcium carbonate, which is made from mined limestone.
Next time you eat something that gives you a little bit of heartburn, you can thank limestone for the relief.
5. Miners use limestone
While limestone has to be dug out of the ground, miners also use this rock in other ways. Ground-up limestone is often used in coal mines to protect miners.
When in powdered form, this stone can absorb air-born pollutants and save miners from breathing in harmful chemicals.
6. Limestone can be full of different things
Limestone is mainly composed of calcite, which is the crystalline form of calcium carbonate. However, there are usually many other things in this stone. For example, silica, like Jasper or Flint, is usually in limestone.
There are also small amounts of clay, silt, and sand throughout the stone. Of course, because limestone is a biological sedimentary rock, there are also shells and coral remains found in it.
7. It does better in heat
We have learned that limestone forms in shallow seas that are warm and calm. Interestingly, limestone becomes less soluble as the temperatures of the water around it increase. This feature is called retrograde solubility.
8. It comes in a variety of colors
While most limestone is a white or neutral tone, it can actually come in a wide variety of colors.
Pure limestone is white, but it can end up being about any color depending on the other minerals and elements it comes in contact with while forming. How about pink, blue, or black limestone?
9. It’s useful in your roof
If your roof has texture, it likely has limestone in it. Many times, builders add crushed limestone to the roofing tar to increase strength and durability. This stone can also help prevent weather and heat-related damage to roofs.
10. Limestone might not always be limestone
A quick refresh of middle school science: there are three types of rocks, sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Limestone, mostly made of calcite, is a sedimentary rock.
However, when it is exposed to high heat and pressure beneath the surface, it becomes metamorphic. When this happens, you get marble, another beautiful stone with many purposes.
So, if you have a limestone exterior and marble counters, they are rock cousins!
11. Limestone usually forms in shallow seas
Limestone is a sedimentary rock because it is formed by calcite being deposited in shallow, marine seas that are clear, calm, and warm for thousands of years.
Usually, biological organisms, like algae, shellfish, and plankton, die and sink to the bottom to form the stone. This is why there are sometimes actual fossils in limestone.
12. It is formed differently
While all limestone is formed in water from organic matter fusing together, it can look quite different depending on where it forms and what types of creatures make it.
For example, coquina is a type of limestone made almost entirely of shells, often from coral, fusing together. And crinoidal is a black limestone with red or pink strands throughout that is often used to make jewelry.
13. Limestone is abundant
Limestone makes up 10% of all sedimentary rocks on earth. Generally, you will find limestone at the bottom of shallow seas, or in areas that used to be shallow seas.
14. Limestone can help your yard
Scientists can heat limestone, and then grind it up. Then, they mix this powder with fertilizer. The result is excellent for large and small farmers alike to give extra nutrients to the plants they’re growing.
And luckily, limestone is a completely natural ingredient! So if you’re looking for a way to organically help your tomatoes, consider a limestone fertilizer.
15. It’s been used in construction for a LONG time
Because limestone is widely available and quite durable, humans have used it to build things for millennia. In fact, limestone local to Egypt is the base rock of the Pyramids of Giza.
The pyramids are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one that is still mostly intact. This fact about limestone shows just how durable it is.
16. Limestone and acid don’t get along
Limestone is made from calcium carbonate, which is highly soluble in acid. So, if you use acidic mixtures to clean limestone, or acidic rain hits buildings or features made of this stone, damage often occurs.
Acid speeds up the dissolution of limestone, so keep acidic cleaners away from your counters or fireplaces if you have them in your home!
17. Limestone is the root of some types of crystals
Because limestone is often made from so many different elements and minerals, it is the root of many types of crystals, like agate, calcite, dolomite, lapis, and Septarian.
These unique and dynamic crystals are part of the reason people consider limestone to be a multi-dimensional stone.
18. It has healing powers
In many folk stories, cultures have used limestone as a healing stone. If a person was suffering from muscle spasms, body aches, digestion issues, or emotional stress, limestone was often utilized to bring about relief and bring overall well-being.
19. There’s a lot of limestone in the Midwest
Limestone is quite prevalent throughout much of the middle of North America. In fact, there is a storage facility located underground in the Ozarks.
This old limestone mine is incredibly over 2 million square feet. It is so energy efficient, that it is used as refrigerated storage. That’s one cool fact about limestone! (sorry for the pun…)
20. Limestone is central in Feng Shui
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice of arranging your immediate environment to bring peace. Feng means wind and shui means water. Together, these terms refer to being connected to and flowing with your environment.
In Feng Shui, followers focus on the elements earth, wind, water, metal, and fire. It is believed limestone in the Center area brings about overall health, wellness, and balance.
So, which of these fun facts about limestone was your favorite? Do you think limestone can bring about peace and healing?
If we’ve missed any limestone facts, let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to this article!