Superman, fear not! 'Kryptonite' has been discovered according to a BBC report, but it's definitely not green Kryptonite, the stuff of fiction feared by our superhero icon. A new mineral matching its unique chemistry described in the film Superman Returns - has been identified from a mine in Serbia.
According to movie and comic-book storylines the glowing green material, usually shown as having been created from the exploded remains of Superman's native planet of Krypton, generally has detrimental effects on Superman, sapping his super-human strength.
( Be sure to check out the Marlon Brando video of the story of the Superman legend and his escape from the planet Krypton and arrival on Earth).
A crystalline mineral, similar in composition to the fictional material's chemical formula, as given in a Superman movie, was recently discovered in a mine near Jadar, Serbia. It will now be named Jadarite.
The real mineral is white and harmless, says Dr Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum. "I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either - although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange," he told BBC News. Once Stanley had unraveled the mineral's chemical make-up, he was shocked to discover this formula was already referenced in Superman literature and lore.
"Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula - sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide - and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by the super-villain Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns.
Superman's real name was Kal-El, the only son of Jor-El, his father, and Lara, his mother, who was born on the planet Krypton. The Kryptonians were a scientifically advanced civilization, centuries ahead of Planet Earth. They extensively studied planet Earth, its atmosphere and yellow sun. Jor-El a scientist, who was a member of Krypton's governing council, discovered that Krypton was about to reach its celestial doom. In order to spare their son from the unavoidable self-destruction of the planet Krypton, his parents seated infant Kal-El in a space-ship and sent him to planet Earth. They selected Earth because they knew the yellow sun would provide a Kryptonian with unimaginable powers and that the human civilization had potential for good.
Kal-El's space-ship crashed onto the Earth's surface in a town called Smallville in Kansas, USA, where he was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent while they were driving home from town and entered a special place in the world's contemporary mythology.
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