Nitrogen is an element that very common on Earth. In fact, nitrogen makes up most of the air that we breathe in. This nitrogen actually cycles through different forms and stages over time. This cycle is kind of similar to the carbon cycle. The nitrogen cycle starts as nitrogen gas in the atmosphere. This gas attaches onto precipitation such as rain or snow and makes its way to the ground. After that, it gets absorbed by the soil on the Earth’s surface. In this soil, some bacteria break the nitrogen molecules down into nitrogen atoms and some other bacteria turn it into ammonia. This ammonia is very toxic for plants to absorb as nutrients, so more bacteria add Oxygen to it. This is called nitrification and create a compound that plants can safely absorb. These plants absorb this nitrogen and use it to make proteins and even DNA! Then, other animals eat these plants and the nitrogen inside of the plant gets absorbed by the animal. Nitrogen makes up many proteins in animals. Then, when these animals produce waste or die, the nitrogen is released back into the ground. This is where more bacteria break it down into nitrogen gas and the cycle stars all over again. This is what the nitrogen cycle is!