The Science Behind Curling2.17.2014 | 8:01 am | Posted by Kristen Kilfoyle

Olympics: Curling-Women's Round Robin Session 7

The Olympics tends to bring somewhat obscure sports to center stage (Handball, anyone?). With all of the recent media coverage of Team USA’s Curling competition, we were curious… Are curling stones actually made of stone?

It turns out, they are! Curling stones are carefully sculpted from granite. More specifically, the Olympic curling stones are exclusively sourced through a small manufacturer in Scotland, Kays of Scotland, and the material used is quarried on a small island, Ailsa Craig, located 10 miles off the mainland. Ailsa Craig’s trio of granites, Common Green, Blue Hone and Red Hone, all possess a unique molecular structure that makes them elastic enough to mold yet they absorb very little water, which makes the erosion typical with freezing and thawing a non-issue.

Ailsa Craig is currently a bird sanctuary and is also for sale for a mere £1,500,000.

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