Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Chapter 5
Heavy Metal » The Amazing Rusting Aluminum

Turn a chunk of aluminum to dust with a small dose of poison. Unless you are a representative of a national meteorological bureau licensed to carry a barometer (and odds are you're not), bringing mercury onboard an airplane is strictly forbidden. Why? If it got loose, it could rust the plane to pieces before the aircraft had a chance to land. You see, airplanes are made of aluminum, and aluminum is highly unstable.

Wait, isn't one of the great things about aluminum that, unlike iron, it doesn't rust? Am I talking about the same aluminum? Yes! Your aluminum pot is made of a highly reactive chemical. It simply has a trick that lets it disguise itself as a corrosion-resistant metal.

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