Granite is the signature rock of the continents. More than that, granite is the signature rock of the planet Earth itself. The other rocky planets—Mercury, Venus and Mars—are covered with basalt, as is the ocean floor on Earth. But only Earth has this beautiful and interesting rock type in abundance.
Granite is found in large plutons on the continents, in areas where the Earth’s crust has been deeply eroded. This makes sense, because granite must solidify very slowly at deeply buried locations to make such large mineral grains. Plutons smaller than 100 square kilometers in area are called stocks, and larger ones are called batholiths.