Unusual sand found in the Kuril Islands, from which Japanese samurai made swords

Scientists have studied volcanic titanium-magnetite sand from the beaches of the Kuril Islands. Previously, Japanese samurai made swords from it.

Russian scientists have discovered unusual sand on the beaches of the Kuril Islands. To find it, you need an ordinary magnet – sand sticks to it, forming interesting shapes, since it is rich in iron. Such ferruginous sands (with rare exceptions) “belong to coastal-marine placers, which demonstrate relative homogeneity and simplicity of mineral composition. Iron and vanadium are mainly obtained from such sands, ”say scientists from the Tomsk Polytechnic University.

Fortification of titanomagnetite concentrate from such sand will reduce the need for crushing. It is this operation, which is inevitable when extracting raw materials from bedrock, is the most expensive, the authors of the work note. Scientists also add that the prospects for deposits of valuable sand in the Kuril Islands will be determined based on the results of geological exploration.

Historians know that Japanese samurai used volcanic titanium-magnetite sand, which the Kuril Islands are rich in, to create swords. It was the unique alloy of vanadium and titanium that gave melee weapons strength and lightness – this made samurai swords especially effective in battles.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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