There have been many impressive advances in materials and technology over the years. But no matter how much progress we make, it doesn’t hold a candle to the metals and materials conjured up by science fiction writers.
We’ve broached the topic of metals from fictional worlds before and we are back at it again with another installment, featuring more of the Earth’s mightiest fictional metals!
In this fun little exercise, we discuss what makes a metal fictional, the strongest fictional elements and run through 11 fantastic metal substances, many of which defy the laws of metallurgy, material science and reality.
What is a fictional metal?
There are many fantastic metal alloys in the world today. Platinum resists temperatures beyond 3000°F (1649°C). Palladium can purify air. You can pound gold thinner than paper without cracking it. The list goes on.
Science fiction writers usually base their magical materials upon these incredible real-life metals, expanding upon them with their own fantastic, magical properties. They are found across the entire spectrum of pop culture, from movies, books to television.
What is the strongest fictional element?
Identified in 1781, tungsten is the strongest pure metal element in the real world. In the world of make-believe, vibranium or adamantium are considered the strongest fictional elements. They are practically impossible to destroy (and not to mention, very expensive).
Virtually indestructible metals
Originating in the Marvel universe, this extraterrestrial material is extremely durable, difficult to shape and expensive to manufacture.
The name for this fictional alloy comes from the Greek word for diamonds, “adamas.” Seeing as the material is diamond-hard and nearly impossible to destroy, it would appear to be the correct choice.
While interpretations of adamantium can vary from writer to writer, it is often given more ‘down-to-earth’ properties that helps it resemble real-world metals such as tungsten and rhenium.
Developed by the US government, it was coated onto the bone structure of the infamous superhero, Wolverine, in a very painful process. Wolverine’s regenerative healing process allowed the metal to bond, and he survived the procedure. The metal eventually poisoned the once-immortal Wolverine. Antarctic Vibranium (“Anti-Metal”) is the only known substance able to pierce or cut Adamantium.
Due to an unknown series of circumstances in the lab where it originated from, this alloy has never been successfully replicated.
This extremely hard super metal is the main ingredient in Wonder Woman’s bracelets and is nearly indestructible. It is one of the strongest metals from the fictional world.
Duranium is an extremely strong metallic substance in the Star Trek universe used by many different cultures such as the Klingons for the construction of their vessels. It is primarily used in starship and space station hull construction.
This is another extremely strong metallic substance from Star Trek. It is 21.4 times as hard as a diamond and is used later in hull construction (Enterprise-D).
Star Wars metals
Looking to hibernate for the winter or ensure your goods don’t spoil during transport? This unusual liquid metal is your best option.
Made famous in the Star Wars universe, carbonite is composed of carbon gas that changes to a solid metal with rapid freezing. In the original movie trilogy, Hans Solo was an unfortunate test subject for this metallic element, as he was frozen in carbonite, before being rescued by his friends.
Metals from the MCU
An extremely tough alloy, Dargonite is capable of puncturing Adamantium. Thanos’ sword is rumored to be dargonite and broke Captain America’s shield.
Created by Marvel comics, vibranium is an extremely rare metal that’s light, extremely strong, elastic and valuable; it is a mixture of vibranium and iron.
Mined only in Wakanda, the fictional home of Black Panther, it originates from a meteorite that crashed into Earth. Its isotopes can completely absorb kinetic energy.
Several versions of the material include Antarctic Vibranium, which has the opposite effects of Wakandan vibranium and can cut through any metal on the planet. This indestructible metal first made its appearance in a 1966 comic book issue of Daredevil, but is best known as the primary material in Captain America’s shield.
This super liquid, silvery metal protects the Silver Surfer from freezing in space. It also covers his surfboard and is highly durable metalloid alloy.
The radioactive remnants of the planet Krypton, kryptonite can be deadly to Superman.
As a Kryptonian, this metal ore weakens and sickens him when he is close by. However, there are several types of ore with varying effects on the hero. Comic lore states that Superman can destroy kryptonite with his laser vision at a distance.
Extremely rare fictional metals
This costly material is found on the exo-moon, Pandora (a fictional world from the highest-grossing film of all-time, Avatar). As the name itself suggests, this fictional metal is very difficult to obtain and the central cause of the planet-wide war depicted in that movie. It is the ultimate superconductor for energy and can contain a strong magnetic field.
In the real world, unobtainium is also used an expression for those difficult to obtain metals one may need to complete a goal or project design.
This stone-like material is highly durable, retains magical enchantments, and composes Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir. As with most magical metals, it is made in unusual circumstances ─ it is forged in the core of a dying star or in an Asgardian forge. What makes this alloy special is that it absorbs magic like a sponge and enchants the wielder.
Conclusion: Fictional but not so fictional
While you certainly won’t be to get any of these metals from any known ore on the Earth, they’re not entirely outside of the realm of possibility. Given that the writers for Star Trek and other pieces of science fiction were the inspiration for many of the scientific advances of the past 70 years, we could very well develop a vibranium alloy or something similar.
Seems impossible? Consider that the transparent aluminum from “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” produced in 1986, has already become a reality.
Unfortunately, at Metal Supermarkets, we do not supply super metals such as carbonite, nth metal or even vibranium. But you can always access over 8,000 types, shapes and grades of real-life metal, at any size, cut and ready fast!
Metal Supermarkets is the world’s largest small-quantity metal supplier with over 100 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. We are metal experts and have been providing quality customer service and products since 1985.
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