Why was strontium used in ancient India?

Let us now talk about something that was common in ancient India. Very often, mysterious red lights would flare up in temples to the awe and terror of worshippers, who believed it to be a divine light.

Actually, it was the handiwork of priests who would quietly set fire to small balls of a mixture that contained strontium salts. Strontium catches flame spontaneously in air and strontium salts impart a beautiful crimson colour to flames. For this reason, strontium is used in fireworks as well.

Strontium is a soft silvery metal that is found chiefly as celestite and strontianite. It was in 1808 that Sir Humphry Davy isolated strontium. But much before that, our ancestors knew about this metal and had used it in quite a cunning manner.

You might have heard stories about ships that sent red flares as a symbol of trouble. Just like the ones used in ancient Indian temples, these ships too used strontium salts. It would not be wrong to say that strontium has saved many lives.

Picture Credit : Google