In the build-up to the Christmas Lectures in 2012, the Royal Institution published a new video for every day of advent revealing the elements that really excite and inspire people. Helen Czerski explains why her favourite element is vital for life, but also important in death because 'it sticks around'. Many organisms in the ocean use calcium carbonate as a structural molecule. When they die, these organisms settle on the ocean bed and over geological time the calcium carbonate fragments form rock. The most famous examples of this are the white cliffs of Dover.
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