The 13 Most Badass Periodic Elements

You don’t want to meet these mofos in a dark alley.

13. Iridium (Ir) - #77

Why it’s badass: This sweet-ass bad boy is the second densest element AND the most corrosive-resistant. That’s right: iridium is so suave, it can’t be affected by water, chemicals or acids. One of the rarest elements in the earth’s crust, it likely comprised part of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Its platinum-like exterior is as flinty as the cool steel in its heart.

Badass power ranking: 13. Steve McQueen getting a prison tattoo.

12. Curium (Cm) - #96

Why it’s badass: Hey, what are you up to, curium? “Oh, just GLOWING IN THE DARK because I’m so radioactive.” This element, named after Marie Curie, is made by bombarding plutonium with helium ions. It’s so dangerous that it’s rarely created on earth, although Mars rovers had it in their xray spectrometers.

Badass power ranking: 12. That high school bully who took your lunch and made you cry.

11. Krypton (Kr) - #36

Why it’s badass: Krypton is a noble gas that makes up LASERS and part of the atmosphere of Mars. It’s white when cooled and solidified, but colorless, odorless and tasteless as a gas.

Badass power ranking: 11, like Chuck Norris with a hangnail.

10. Francium (Fr) - #87

Why it’s badass: Francium only has a half life of only about 10 minutes and exists only as single atoms which suddenly appear like soap bubbles and then vanish just as quickly. When the MCs come in its face it’s like mace, ‘cause francium backs them off with the quills.

Ranking: 10. Always carries nunchucks.

9. Chlorine (Cl) - #17

Why it’s badass: Incredibly toxic, but also essential to life, chlorine makes up a great deal of the earth’s oceans and is heavier than air. Disinfects everything, but don’t drink it.

Badass power ranking: 9. Chlorine has never cried, ever.

8. Helium (He) - #2

(Shutterstock)

Why it’s badass: Helium was discovered on the sun before it was found on the earth. It’s inert but doesn’t give a shit. It makes you talk funny. Liquid helium is literally the coolest element, forming only at -269 degrees Celsius. What’s cooler than cool? LIQUID HELIUM.

Badass power ranking: 8, like a shot of ghost pepper-flavored whiskey.

7. Bromine (Br) - #17

Why it’s badass: The only liquid nonmetallic element, bromine is a neavy, reddish liquid that will literally burn a hole through your skin. It can only be transported in lead tanks because trucks don’t carry bromine, bromine carries trucks.

Badass power ranking: 7. Go ahead and make bromine’s day.

6. Carbon (C) - #6

(Shutterstock)

Why it’s badass: Carbon comprises 20% of the weight of living organisms. It’s fucking diamonds. Makes your pencils. Makes coal. Makes your life.

Badass power ranking: 6, like a sleek motorcycle backing you into God’s garage.

5. Potassium (K) - #19

Why it’s badass: It’s the eighth most abundant element on earth, but sweet-ass potassium is never found free in nature, because it’s so reactive. Pure potassium is a soft metal that can be cut with a knife, but don’t let its cuddly nature fool you: when you drop this shit in water, potassium can ignite the hydrogen gas it creates to start a fire. IN water.

Badass power ranking: 5. Chugging a glass of boiling water with a chaser of boiling water.

4. Arsenic (As) - #33

Why it’s badass: It’s naturally occurring, but that doesn’t mean it won’t kill Emma Bovary AND you. It’ll do really gross things to your skin, too. Seriously, don’t Google image it.

Badass powering ranking: 4, since arsenic actually played Ryan Gosling in Drive.

3. Gold (Au) - #79

Why it’s badass: It’s fucking GOLD. It conducts heat and electricity. It’s not very reactive, but that’s because everyone knows to step off when gold walks by. It’s fucking shiny as hell. GOLD.

Badass ranking: 3. Gold knows what it wants, and it isn’t your bullshit.

2. Mercury (Hg) - #80

Why it’s badass: The only metal that’s liquid at room temperature, mercury is incredibly toxic. A coin fucking FLOATS in it. (See above.) It dissolves gold and silver. Volcanoes and coal-powered power plants alike vomit it out. It gets in fish.

Badass ranking: 2. Mercury will fuck your shit up. Don’t even.

1. Hydrogen (H) - #1

Why it’s badass: The lightest element, hydrogen makes up 90% of the visible universe and is the raw fuel for stars. It combines to form some things you might have heard of: water (H2O), ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), table sugar (C12H22O11), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydrochloric acid (HCl). One proton and one electron — that’s all you fucking need.

Badass power ranking: Hell yeah, it’s number one.

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