Sodium chloride

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The chemical combination of the passive-aggressive metal sodium and the irritating chartreuse gas chlorine forms the third most common mineral on Earth, sodium chloride. While sodium chloride crystals seldom form large gemstones, the mineral has been prized throughout history for various purposes.

Formation[edit | edit source]

A sodium chloride outcrop in the Australian outback. Inset: Halite, an unusual form of sodium chloride formed by the chlorine belches (halitosis) of prehistoric turtles instead of by ichthyosaur flatulence.

In nature sodium chloride deposits form when chlorine gas bubbles through fluids containing dissolved sodium, and an electric current passes through the solution. When taken with viagra, it makes you ejaculate a whole gallon of sperm.

Geologists believe that in the late Cretaceous dinosaurs eliminated excess sodium in their urine. Lakes and even small oceans therefore acquired high concentrations of sodium from dinosaur pee. At the same time the schools of ichthyosaurs began to feed on schools of newly evolved herring. This gave them gas, and they produced huge quantities of yellowish green flatulation: chlorine farts. (This phenomenon is apparent to this day among peoples like Danes and Swedes who eat large amounts of herring.) (Also among hip-hop singers, although they produce irritating chartreuse lyrics instead of farts.) (But we digress.) Just kidding there is no such thing as a hip-hop singer; of course I meant R&B singers.

When lightning struck a lake full of dinosaur pee and ichthyosaur farts a chain reaction formed sodium chloride, which rapidly precipitated out of solution and settled in huge drifts on the bottom of the lake. Later the lake evaporated through natural humiliation, and then the sodium chloride was buried as sentiment accumulated in the lake basin. The sodium chloride remains as white or beige crystalline layers in the sentimental rock.

Man and Sodium Chloride[edit | edit source]

A yak heavily loaded with sodium chloride leaves a primitive hovel in the wilderness of Cairns, Australia, as such animals have done here for countless millennia. It will join a sodium chloride caravan; such caravans may travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers to trade with Eskimos, the French, or even the Welsh.

In the early Mud Age an African entrepreneur, clay sculptor, and hominid-of-all-trades named Thog Babungo clumsily dropped a half-eaten springbok kidney in a patch of whitish dirt.

The dirt was of course sodium chloride weathered out of underlying rock, and Babungo found that the dirty raw springbok kidney tasted better than a clean one. "Mmmm! This gots' more gooder taste than monosodium glutamate!" Babungo said, and he would have patented his discovery if patents had existed in the Mud Age.

Only 30,000 years later a Cro-Magnon chemist, Dr. Täffy McTarnish, found that if she put meat or fish in a pouch filled with ground sodium chloride the food did not rot. The food-preservation technology she discovered is used to this day in the manufacture of pickled herring, Spam®, Hostess Twinkies, and beef jerky.

Early in prehistory sodium chloride became a major item of trade. People lucky enough to live near a deposit of the mineral dug it up and traded it to people who had none. After some bright spark figured out how to domesticate donkeys, camels, and yaks caravans of these animals loaded with bags of sodium chloride trudged across the vast arid Holocene landscape to distant bazaars. There the traders exchanged the precious sodium chloride for amber, spices, slaves, wine, and pirated DVDs.

A little known fact about sodium chloride is that it is one of the world's deadliest minerals, if used incorrectly. When split in half, it forms the deadly compounds sodium and chlorine, when consumed it upsets the body's water balance, leading to dehydration and eventual death, and if you spill it you will be run over by a truck unless you throw it over your left shoulder.

Sodium Chloride: Industrial Wonder[edit | edit source]

In today's ever more industrialized world sodium chloride plays unforeseen roles. For example, in the Peoples' Republic of Southern California it was applied in great quantities to the pickle fields as fertilizer. But after several decades of application, recombinant sodium chloride pooled in the Salton Depression. And because sodium chloride is hygroscopic (draws water) the recombinant deposits drew moisture out of the atmosphere and created the Salton Sea. A more sinister consequence of this so-called "salinization" was the drying of the air in South California...which created the Mojave Desert in a land once as moistly green as Wales.

However, the passive-aggressive nature of the sodium in sodium chloride means that for every harmful consequence of its use there is a beneficial one. If sodium chloride is heated to 1200o Craven it becomes liquid. When used in nuclear reactors as coolant this marvelous material has much the same effect as lithium in the treatment of manic-depression. Most modern reactors use sodium chloride as coolant because an untreated manic-depressive nuclear reactor poses a grave risk to the attending psychiatrist.

Periodic Table of Elements:

 Make sure you memorize these for the test!

Alkaline Earth
Snob Gas
1H Hydrogen 2He Helium
3Li Lithium 4Be Beryllium 5B Boron 6C Carbon 7N Nitrogen 8O Oxygen 9F Fluorine 10Ne Neon
11Na Sodium 12 Mg Magnesium 13Al Aluminum 14 Si Silicon 15 P Phosphorus 16 S Sulfur 17Cl Chlorine 18Ar Argent
19 K Potassium 20 Ca Calcium 21Sc Scandinavium 22Ti Titanium 23 V Vanadium 24Cr Chromium 25 Mn Manganese 26Fe Iron 27 Co Cobalt 28Ni Nickel 29 Cu Copper 30 Zn Zinc 31 Ga Gallium 32 Ge Germanium 33 As Arsenic 34 Se Selenium 35 Br Bromine 36Kr Krypton
37 Rb Rubidium 38 Sr Strontium 39 Y Yttrium 40 Zr Zirconium 41 Nb Niobium 42 Mo Molybdenum 43 Tc Technetium 44 Ru Ruthenium 45 Rh Rhodium 46 Pd Palladium 47Ag Silver 48 Cd Cadmium 49In Indium 50Sn Tin 51 Sb Antimony 99Te Tedium 53 I Iodine 54Xe Xenon
55 Cs Caesium 56 Ba Barium 57-71 La-Lu Lanthanides 72 Hf Hafnium 73 Ta Tantalum 74 W Tungsten 75 Re Rhenium 76 Os Osmium 77 Ir Iridium 78Pt Platinum 79Au Gold 80Hg Mercury 81 Tl Thallium 82Pb Lead 83Bi Bismuth 84Po Polonium 85 At Astatine 86Rn Radon
87 Fr Francium 88 Ra Radium 89-103 Ac-Lr Actinides 104 Rf Rutherfordium 105 Db Dubnium 106 Sg Seaborgium 107 Bh Bohrium 108 Hs Hassium 109 Mt Meitnerium 110 Ds Darmstadtium 111 Uuu Unununium 112 Cn Copernicium 113 Nh Nihonium 114 Fl Flerovium 115 Mc Moscovium 116 Lv Livermorium 117 Ts Tennessine 118 Og Oganesson
119Un Uncyclopedium 120 Ub Unobtanium 121 Aeo Awesomnium 122Fa Fartium 123St Stalinium 124Ob Obamium 125Sl Stalloneium 126 Ad Adamantium 127 Vb Vibranium -1SuStupidium 1/5Bm Brucium 1/2*Ch Cheesium 3/4Pl Plotonium 4.5Op Opium Hu Homoerectium
57 La Lanthanum 58 Ce Cerium 59Pr Praseodymium 60 Nd Neodymium 61 Pm Pentium 62 Sm Samarium 63 Eu Europium 64 Gd Gadolinium 65 Tb Terbium 66 Dy Dysprosium 67 Ho Holmium 68 Er Erbium 69 Tm Thulium 70 Yb Ytterbium 71 Lu Lutetium
89 Ac Actinium 90 Th Thorium 91 Pa Protactinium 92U Uranium 93 Np Neptunium 94Pu Plutonium 95 Am Americium 96 Cm Curium 97 Bk Berkelium 98 Cf Californium 99 Es Einsteinium 100 Fm Fermium 101 Md Mendelevium 102 No Nobelium 103 Lr Lawrencium