We talk a lot here about metals that will be familiar to most people, with the odd reference to rarer metals. What about metals that are completely fictional though, with no basis in the real world? There are many completely fictional metals that have sprung from myths or popular fiction and you might be more familiar with them than you think – take a look at the list below to see some of our top examples.
Although it is now found in many fictional fantasy worlds, Mithril was introduced to us first by J. R. R. Tolkein. A legendary metal in Middle-earth, the setting of Tolkein’s fantasy novels, Mithril resembles silver but is stronger than steel and far lighter than both. Coveted by the race of Dwarves, it is found only in the mines of Moria and was mined by them until their source was cut off by the Balrog known as Durin’s Bane. This made it extremely rare and almost priceless.
Adamantium appears in the American comic books by Marvel Comics and is best known as the metal that covers Wolverine’s entire skeleton. It is a group of man-made metal alloys that make Adamantium virtually indestructible. In its solid form it is a dark metallic grey and almost impossible to destroy or mark, although it can pierce lesser metals easily.
Created by Terry Pratchett, Octiron appears in the Discworld series and is a very rare metal that is naturally imbued with magic, making it extremely unstable. Octiron is believed to be at the hub of the Discworld and is what gives it its strong magical field.
Unobtainium can mean any fictional, extremely rare or costly material in engineering and thought experiments. In the world of James Cameron’s Avatar, it is the substance that appears on the fictional moon Pandora in abundance and is highly coveted by the RDA – Resources Development Administration. It is a room-temperature superconductor, which means it is capable of superconductivity at operating temperatures above 0° C, and the reason it is so valued by the RDA.
Uru is the Asgardian metal that Thor’s hammer is made from. Forged by Dwarven blacksmiths, in the heart of a dying star, the hammer can only be lifted by someone worthy. Uru itself is a highly malleable metal that resembles stone and is highly durable. It absorbs magic like a sponge, enhancing the natural abilities of whoever wields it.