Gallium: Metal That Melts In Your Hands

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Science, Social Media

Many of our parents played with mercury as kids and it’s easy to see why. It’s an abundant, shiny, metallic substance that is easily manipulated. Turns out that wasn’t such a good idea. Lucky for us we have science and we have gallium.

You don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate this super metal. Gallium is a brittle, soft element that becomes a liquid at around 85°F, meaning it’ll melt in your hands. When you freeze it, it possesses the rare trait of expanding, just like water. The most important feature of gallium is that it’s non-toxic, meaning there’s no harm to your brain, heart and immune system! Here’s what happens to a gallium spoon in hot water.

Another cool feature of gallium is it’s flexibility; you can pour this liquid metal into a mold and create new objects. Unfortunately, you’ll have to make sure your creation stays out of the sun. When gallium is solidified, it can also shatter like glass. Luckily you can just heat it up to get it back together; while the same process will work with glass, it’s just a little more complicated. Finally, gallium is a noted bully to other metals, as can be seen in the video below.

Gallium is a truly remarkable element. Want some gallium to play with or prank some friends? It’s kind of expensive, but it’s rare properties make it worth the buck. You can grab 100 grams worth today for $75 on Amazon.com. What would you do with gallium?


Chemicool

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  • Wonderstruck

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    I am surprised that people can purchase this, seems a bit risky and yeah, who didn’t play with mercury? It was always sad when it managed to roll down the sink, it was slick and fast and like to be in a ball or a bunch of balls.

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