Kryptonite Found on Earth!!
The mineral was found in Serbia by geologists with Rio Tinto Plc, the world’s third-largest mining company, London’s Natural History Museum said today. After being unable to match the rock to any known mineral, they sought help from Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at the museum. Working with Canada’s National Research Council, the scientists identified the chemical components of the mineral, then turned to the Internet.
`I just typed into Google `sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide,’ and this match with kryptonite came up. It was really astonishing,” Stanley said in a telephone interview today.
The composition matched the scientific name written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen from a museum by the DC Comics hero’s arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor, in the film “Superman Returns.” DC Comics is owned by Time Warner Inc., the world’s largest media company.
“I don’t know of any other instance of something being imagined in fiction and then found in nature.” Stanley said.
The terrestrial mineral only differs from the fictional rock, whose source was Superman’s home planet of Krypton, in that it is white, rather than green, and lacks fluorine, according to the museum. The name displayed on the case in the movie includes the words “with fluorine” after “hydroxide.”
“It’s not clear if it’s actually referring to kryptonite itself, or if this is the composition of the rock that actually holds kryptonite,” Stanley said.
“We will have to be careful with it — we wouldn’t want to deprive Earth of its most famous superhero!,” the scientist said in a statement on the museum’s Web site.
The rock will be named jadarite, after Jadar, the place in Serbia where it was discovered, Stanley said. Calling the rock kryptonite would imply the mineral contained the element krypton, which it doesn’t, he said.
The mineral is a potential source of lithium, used in batteries, and boron, used in cleaning products, glasses and hi- tech appliance, according to Stanley. The rock will be put on display tomorrow at the West London museum.