JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rusty shipwreck on a sea coast. Rusting occurs due to the corrosion of iron, the main component of the steel alloys used to make ships. The iron takes part in a complicated chemical reaction to combine with both water and oxygen to form rust (hydrated iron oxide). Rust is porous, brittle, and is bulkier and weaker than iron. Photographed in American Samoa in the Pacific Ocean.
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