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Chemicals with interesting attributes


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Do people know of any chemicals that have unusual and interesting attributes?




Sodium Acetate: Can make hot ice.


That is really the only one I know that does something out of the ordinary.


Please note, I am not a chemist.


Looking forward to hearing the replies.

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I know it is not recommended but have you ever seen mercury? A couple years back a friend of mine broke open some electrical components and started collecting the mercury inside. It is a very curious substance. It is the only metal that is a liquid at room temperatures. It feels very strange too. Of course I did not touch it much because I was afraid of getting mercury poisoning.

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Sorry I meant Europa not Titan, my mistake

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Haha, I have never actually played around with mercury, too dangerous I reckon.


Have seen it on yutube though, looks pretty cool.


I suppose cornflower and water added together make for some interesting attributes, not sure if it is usefull for anything though.


I'm starting a collection of what I consider to be chemicals with "unusual attributes".


A unique alternative to collecting all the elements.


So far i've got sodium acetate... so pretty disappointing so far.

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I suppose unusual is a rather subjective word.


Water is also the closest thing we have to a universal solvent...


and the closest thing we have to an 'elixer of life'.


But that does not, in my view make it unusual.


If we were to step out of our own reality and look at water, it would be very interesting and unusual.


But as it stands, water is everywhere... far too common (and readily available) to qualify in my mind.

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Fair point. As a chemist I view it as very unusual and interesting - we actually know comparatively little about water and some of the research being done is quite fascinating. I don't know much about it, unfortunately.


Liquid oxygen has some fun properties. If you want more to go more complex, a modern area of interest is molecular machinery - atomic scale analogues of macroscopic machines such as pistons and rotors, triggered by stimuli such as pH changes.

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Water? Compare it to the other group 16 analogues and its properties are very unusual indeed. For example, it's one of the only (or possibly the only?) compounds that expands when cooled.


antimony and bismuth also do that

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as for chemicals with unusual properties, i ted to think of each substance as rather like a child... special in its own way, even if it is a toxic little bastard.


Some of my favourites are:


bismuth (non-toxic, despite being in an area of the periodic table filled with toxic elements, makes beautiful crystals, low melting point, very dense, repels magnets)


diethyl ether: boiling point of 35°C, phenomenally high vapour pressure at room temperature, anaesthetic and flammable.


heavy water: about 10% heavier than normal water, melts at 3.7°C and ice cubes made of it sink in normal water


tritium: pretty much the only radioactive isotope I've ever owned, makes a good keychain which glows continuously for years


iodine: very pretty crystals, very reactive, incredibly low melting and boiling points, bright purple.


there are dozens more

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