Diatomaceous earth being mined at EP Minerals' Lovelock, NV mine
Most people know of diatomaceous earth because they use it to filter their swimming pools or for its natural insecticide properties to control insects in their homes or gardens. Biologists know about diatoms, the single-celled plants that form diatomaceous earth, because they are truly the lungs of the earth, in that they produce about ¾ of the world’s new oxygen supply. Materials scientists know about diatom skeletons (called frustules), the tiny, intricate porous opal structures, because they are known to be the strongest naturally-occurring substances.
On August 31, we celebrate National Diatomaceous Earth Day to recognize the diatom and the remarkable substance it creates, diatomaceous earth.