A mineral with the same composition as that mentioned for Superman's
kryptonite has been found in a Serbian mine close to Jadar. The only difference so long is that it's not green, but white. Superman was not yet available for testing its effects on him, so for now it's still unknown whether it weakens his powers as in the movie and comic-book storylines.
The discovery was made by the mining group Rio Tinto in Serbia. Unsure about the material they found, the company contacted a mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum, Dr. Chris Stanley. He determined the chemical composition and looked up the formula.
"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 Lex Luthor from a museum in the film
Superman Returns," he told BBC.
"The new mineral does not contain fluorine (which it does in the film) and is white rather than green but, in all other respects, the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite."
"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.
The scientists from Natural Resources Canada, the Geological Survey of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Nature will work together to ensure that the new mineral is recognized by the international scientific community. They helped Dr. Stanley to examine the 'kryptonite' using x-ray facilities in Ottawa. The museum says that the mineral could be used as a source of lithium, which is used in batteries
, or the cleaning compound borate, or borax.
Dr Yvon Le Page, an expert at the NRC, said to AFP it is the "coincidence of a lifetime" to find a mineral with an exact chemical match for fictional kryptonite.
The Serb media
reportedly reacted with a wave of pride and patriotism that one of the 30-40 minerals discovered each year originated from their country, and, even better, it was 'kryptonite'. "Superman is a Serb!" was the conclusion drawn in headlines found on several newspapers. The daily Kurir said: "Finally we have scientific proof that we are God's own people!"
The pro-government daily Politika speculated that the 'S' on the Man of Steel's blue costume really stood for 'Serbia'.
The newly found mineral will reportedly be formally named 'Jadarite' when it is described in the European Journal of Mineralogy later this year. The fictional kryptonite from Superman's stories was produced from the material of Krypton, Superman's native planet, when it was destroyed in an explosion.