Scientists Discover Kryptonite

Scientists have found “kryptonite” in Serbia.

Kryptonite, which robbed Superman of his powers, is no longer the stuff of comic books and films. A mineral found by geologists in Serbia shares virtually the same chemical composition as the fictional kryptonite from outer space, used by the superhero’s nemesis Lex Luther to weaken him in the film “Superman Returns.” “We will have to be careful with it — we wouldn’t want to deprive Earth of its most famous superhero!,” said Dr Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at London’s Natural History Museum.

Stanley, who revealed the identity of the mysterious new mineral, discovered the match after searching the Internet for its chemical formula – sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide. “I was amazed to discover that same scientific name written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns,” he said.

The substance has been confirmed as a new mineral after tests by scientists at the Natural History Museum in London and the
National Research Council in Canada. But instead of the large green crystals in Superman comics, the real thing is a white, powdery substance which contains no fluorine and is non-radioactive.

The mineral, to be named Jadarite, will go on show at the London’s Natural History Museum at certain times of the day on Wednesday, April 25, and Sunday, May 13.

Action Comics 310 Kryptonite Granted, it’s only “kryptonite” in the sense that it matches a random combination from a 2006 movie and has no other tie-in with the fictional device which goes back to 1940. Still, it’s somewhat amusing.

Wikipedia has an interesting article on the evolution of kryptonite as a plot device in Superman lore. Interestingly, its first appearance by that name was in the radio serial; it wasn’t seen in the comic books until 1948.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. G.A.Phillips says:

    Dang, I was looking for Donkonite!