Skip navigation
No more
Know more

This periodic table from the 70s shows how much of each element there is

The size of each space in the above periodic table represents (more or less) the relative abundance of that element on our planet. The serious problem you might not immediately see from the chart is that certain rare elements are also very important, such as helium (He). Helium is crucial in medical technology and aerospace engineering, among other scientific fields, and yet every grocery store in the country has a few balloons filled with the precious gas. If current trends continue, we will have no more usable helium on earth in about forty years. A tip of the hat to Maxime Duprez.

Max Ehrenfreund | March 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm
Know more: The helium crisis
No more
Know more
Americans believe in religious freedom — just not for Muslims
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
What California’s drought looks like from space
Ana Swanson
ADVERTISEMENT
No more
Know more
Once upon a time, Europeans thought California was an island
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Map: Where $1.7 billion in military equipment has gone to in the states
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
The world’s worst cities for gridlock
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
The country with the most powerful passport is pretty much what you’d expect
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Charted: What punk, rap, country and folk artists are likely to die from
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
The U.S. just published a gorgeous new topographical map of the moon
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
From Boston to Dallas and Washington, D.C., the biggest winners and losers in professional sports
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Where America’s uninsured, untreated, mentally ill live
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
20 years ago, a young Marco Rubio was already battling the Clintons
Ana Swanson