Kryptonite Exists! (Kind Of…)

An image of a green/white material with the same chemical formula as fictional Kryptonite

Kryptonite, the bane of Superman’s existence, actually exists and a chunk of it is currently sitting in The Natural History Museum in London. No this isn’t a joke, it’s real… kinda.  But before you do a Lois Lane and throw yourself in to Niagra Falls in the hope of being saved by the man himself, read on.

I came across this while wandering around the museum on Saturday and couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before. I’ve typed out the blurb below in case you can’t read it from the picture:

A picture of a green/white mineral with the same chemical formula as fictional kryptonite

Don’t tell Lex Luthor, but scientists have found kryptonite on Earth. Kryptonite was the only thing to weaken Superman in the comics. The writers of the film Superman Returns gave it the fictional chemical formula of sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide with fluorine. But, when scientists at the Natural history Museum analysed a new mineral unearthed in Serbia, they were in for a surprise. It had the same formula as kryptonite. It’s an incredible coincidence.

Approximately 30-40 new minerals are discovered each year and about 4300 are known to science. This new mineral is called jadarite. So far no scientists who have been in contact with the rock have felt any negative effects.

How cool is that? Okay, so it’s not quite the radioactive green rock that we were all hoping for but then again a powdery white mineral is still more exciting than the song of the same name by 3 Doors Down.So this ‘discovery’ got me thinking, what sort of fictional ‘natural’ substance would I like to see scientists stumble across? I thought about Uru, the metal that Thor’s hammer Mjolnir is made out of and and I wondered about Adamantium (the unbreakable metal that coats Wolverine’s bones) but in the end I decided that I would like scientists to find Jerktonium. For those of you who haven’t seen the Spongebob Squarepants Christmas special, Jerktonium is something that Plankton puts pieces of into a cake and whoever eats it turns in to a jerk. Think of the fun that could be had!

Anyway, I should probably note that this was discovered in 2007 but I’d just never heard of it. If you would like more information on the kryptonite discovery then check out the museum website: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2007/april/news_11392.html

 

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