phosphorus element

Does phosphorus cause the ocean to glow at night?

Updated: December 2022 | 12 min read

Does phosphorus cause the ocean to glow at night?

The element phosphorus itself does not produce the glow-in-the-dark-glitter-like effect that can sometimes be seen in moving bodies of water. This phenomenon can, in most cases, be attributed to a biochemical reaction in a specific type of plankton called Bioluminescent Dinoflagellate. A high presence of phosphorus in water can however result in algae bloom, which is the rapid growth of an algae population.

Properties of phosphorus

Atomic Number:15
Atomic Symbol:P
Atomic Weight (amu):30.974
Melting point:44.1°C | 111.4°F | 317.2K
Boiling point:280.5°C | 536.9°F | 553.6K

What does phosphorus look like?

Phosphorus appears in two forms. White phosphorus and red phosphorus. White phosphorus in its pure form is as the name states, white and appears to be slightly transparent at room temperature. It has a waxy, soft texture and it glows in the dark.

What is the biological role of phosphorus?

Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the human body and approximately 1% of one's body weight consists thereof. It is crucial for the development of bones and teeth. Phosphorus determines how the body utilises fats and carbohydrates. It is a necessary element concerning protein and ATP formation. Phosphorus is activated by vitamin B and is responsible for proper kidney function, nerve signalling, normal functioning heartbeat and muscular contractions.

What is pure phosphorus used for?

  • Fertilisers can be produced from concentrated phosphoric acids.
  • It is used to make matches, fireworks and flammable products.
  • Phosphorus can be used to produce insect repellent.
  • Phosphorus is also used to improve the lubricating abilities of base oil.

What are the main compounds with phosphorus

Calcium phosphate - it is used as a supplement and it is also sometimes added to some toothpaste brands. It is also the main ingredient in antacids.
Apatite - is used in fertilisers.
Fluorapatite - is found in various toothpaste brands and prevents the occurrence of tooth decay.

Where can phosphorus be found?

Phosphorus is found in the crust of the earth. Most phosphate is located in sedimentary rocks. When these rocks erode, the phosphate enters the surrounding soil and then dissolves in rainwater. This water travels through rivers and oceans. Phosphorus is also part of DNA molecules, cell membranes and ATP. Bones and teeth also contain phosphorus. Foods that contain phosphorus consist of poultry, meat, fish, nuts, beans and dairy products. Animal food containing phosphorus is easier to absorb in the human body than plant foods containing phosphorus.

Is phosphorus expensive?

Pure phosphorus sells for about $44 per 18.1437 kg when applied onto 4046.86 square metres of land. It is usually sold for agricultural purposes.
You can buy phosphorus fertilisers on Amazon:

Will we ever run out of phosphorus?

There is a possibility that we will eventually run out of phosphorus. Phosphorus is essential for plants and animals. Because of the ever-growing agricultural industry, there is a disruption in the natural phosphate cycle. Phosphorus is thus essentially needed in agriculture as fertiliser. This phosphorus is obtained from mined phosphate rocks. These mines have to produce large amounts of phosphorus each year and thus face the risk of being depleted.

Can phosphorus be recycled

Phosphorus can be recycled from wastewater and waste products. This is only possible because phosphorus is soluble.

Who discovered the phosphorus element?

Phosphorus was discovered by Hennig Brandt in 1669 in Hamburg. He discovered it by heating his urine until it evaporated. He then continued to heat the residue until it turned red from the heat. He collected the distilled phosphorus vapour through water condensation. He kept this a secret for a long while. He eventually sold it to Daniel Kraft when he ran out of money. Daniel Kraft exhibited it in London and Europe, where Robert Boyle’s interest in the element began to grow.

Is phosphorus dangerous?

Phosphorus affects the respiration system when inhaled. It can cause coughing and wheezing. It can also irritate the skin and eyes. White phosphorus is also highly flammable and explosive and thus needs to be handled with care. Chronic exposure to phosphorus can cause cancer, affect reproductive systems and affect the liver and kidneys.

Fun facts about phosphorus

  • Phosphorus glows in the dark.
  • Phosphorus is also known as the “Devil's element” because it has a sinister glow, is highly explosive, and is the thirteenth element.
  • Phosphorus is a nonmetallic element which is a poor conductor and is solid at room temperature.
  • Red and white phosphorus is the most abundant phosphorus allotropes.

Funny phosphorus Jokes, Puns and One-Liners

Why did the phosphorus atom go to the fortune teller? To find out his phos-fate.

We tried to catch the chemical thieves, but they were too phosphorus.

We compiled a list of the Top 50 Chemistry Jokes and Puns of all time!

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