Avatar’s unobtanium voted crappiest ever made up name

In Crazy YarpNews on January 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Avatar’s ‘unobtanium’ has been voted the worst name ever given to a fictitious rare mineral in a movie. The online poll, run by some techno head, questioned movie goers about their favorite and least favorite fictional elements. Top of the poll were: Kryptonite as used on Superman, Dilithium, which in crystal form helps Star Trekers reach warp speed and Solarite, which Ming the Merciless was going to use to destroy earth before Flash Gordon stopped him. However, there was one outright winner for the least favorite made up name for a mineral; with 97% of the votes (the other 3% being ‘not sure’) it was Unobtanium as hidden under a Pandoran tree in James Cameron’s Avatar.

James Cameron may be blessed with an amazing visual imagination but when it comes to making up names for rare minerals, he sucks big time. Admittedly Mr Cameron didn’t make the name up all by himself, he had help from some science geeks in the fifty’s who labeled any rare, expensive and impossible material or device ‘unobtainium’. However, that is no excuse for Mr Cameron to start using this lame name or even making it the central theme of his movie Avatar.

Because Unobtanium is a truly dumb name, Yarpnews thought we would trawl the web for something a little more imaginative. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that there was no need for Mr Cameron to resort to using such a stupid made up name, when there are some truly bizarre real ones out there. Check these out (they are REAL!):

Sillimanite Al2SiO5 is an alumino-silicate mineral named after the American chemist Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864).

Unununium, probably better known as Roentgenium is the 111th element on the periodic table.

Cummingtonite Mg,Fe)7Si8O22(OH)2 is a metamorphic amphibole.

Dickite Al2Si2O5(OH)4 is a phyllosilicate clay mineral chemically composed of aluminum, silicon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Welshite Ca2SbMg4FeBe2Si4O20 is a mineral named after Wilfred R. Welsh (1915-2006).

Fukalite Ca4Si2O6(CO3)(OH,F)2 is a calcium carbonate silicate hydrate mineral.

So, you could say although Mr Cameron was a sillimanite and his name was welshite if he can relax and think fukalite and unununium his dickite he could be cummingtonite.


  1. Hilarious! “Cummingtonite” is my favorite. We seem to have the same weird sense of humor.


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