How many naturally occurring elements are there?

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Curiosity Science Chemistry How many naturally occurring elements are there?


  • My science teachers sources say two different things. We played this game in class where we had to answer science questions. The textbook said 90 naturally occurring elements, but she says there are 92. Which is correct?

    – Fernando, via the ask a science question page.

  • Hi Fernando,

    The number of naturally occurring elements is usually prone to debate. According to stability, atoms are stable only up to the 92nd element – Uranium. Your teacher is correct when she says there are 92 elements that occur naturally on Earth. But when you carefully analyze each element, the elements Technetium and Promethium don’t have stable isotopes, and by its properties are extremely unstable with smaller half lives. So your text book might have discarded these two elements.

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