List of Naturally Occurring Elements

periodic table
Image Source/Getty Images

Some elements have been made by man, but do not exist naturally. Have you ever wondered how many elements are found in nature?

Of the 118 elements that have been discovered, there are 90 elements that occur in nature in appreciable amounts. Depending who you ask, there are another 4 or 8 elements that occur in nature as a result of radioactive decay of heavier elements. So, the grand total of natural elements is 94 or 98. As new decay schemes are discovered, it's likely the number of natural elements will grow. However, these elements will likely be present in trace amounts.

There are 80 elements that have at least one stable isotope. The other 38 elements exist only as radioactive isotopes. Several of the radioisotopes instantly decay into a different element.

It used to be believed that of the first 92 elements on the periodic table (1 is hydrogen and 92 is uranium) that 90 elements occur naturally. Technetium (atomic number 43) and promethium (atomic number 61) were synthesized by man before they were identified in nature.

List of the Natural Elements

Assuming 98 elements can be found, however briefly, in nature, there are 10 found in extremely minute amounts: technetium, atomic number 43; promethium, number 61; astatine, number 85; francium, number 87; neptunium, number 93; plutonium, number 94; americium, number 95; curium, number 96; berkelium, number 97; and californium, number 98.

Here is an alphabetical list of the natural elements:

Element Name Symbol
Actinium Ac
Aluminum Al
Antimony Sb
Argon Ar
Arsenic As
Astatine At
Barium Ba
Beryllium Be
Bismuth Bi
Boron B
Bromine Br
Cadmium Cd
Calcium Ca
Carbon C
Cerium Ce
Cesium Cs
Chlorine Cl
Chromium Cr
Cobalt Co
Copper Cu
Dysprosium Dy
Erbium Er
Europium Eu
Fluorine F
Francium Fr
Gadolinium Gd
Gallium Ga
Germanium Ge
Gold Au
Hafnium Hf
Helium He
Hydrogen H
Indium In
Iodine I
Iridium Ir
Iron Fe
Krypton Kr
Lanthanum La
Lead Pb
Lithium Li
Lutetium Lu
Magnesium Mg
Manganese Mn
Mercury Hg
Molybdenum Mo
Neodymium Nd
Neon Ne
Nickel Ni
Niobium Nb
Nitrogen N
Osmium Os
Oxygen O
Palladium Pd
Phosphorus P
Platinum Pt
Polonium Po
Potassium K
Promethium Pm
Protactinium Pa
Radium Ra
Radon Rn
Rhenium Re
Rhodium Rh
Rubidium Rb
Ruthenium Ru
Samarium Sm
Scandium Sc
Selenium Se
Silicon Si
Silver Ag
Sodium Na
Strontium Sr
Sulfur S
Tantalum Ta
Tellurium Te
Terbium Tb
Thorium Th
Thallium Tl
Tin Sn
Titanium Ti
Tungsten W
Uranium U
Vanadium V
Xenon Xe
Ytterbium Yb
Yttrium Y
Zinc Zn
Zirconium Zr

The elements are detected in stars, nebulas, and supernovae from their spectra. While pretty much the same elements are found on Earth compared to the rest of the universe, the ratios of the elements and their isotopes are different.