Metal is a strong, dependable resource. We use it in our day to day lives for many different things, but we often take for granted how durable it really is. Strong though it may be, a relatively thin sheet of steel, for example, just isn't going to stand up to a mortar shell, and it would take a ridiculous amount to withstand things like a nuclear strike or a meteor's impact. Enter fiction.
In fictionland, metal can be just about unbreakable. Many fictional universes have a special kind of metal that far surpasses the ability of iron and steel. This can range from fairly plausible, like a metal that is bullet proof even in thin sheets, to insane, such as being able to withstand a supernova. As an added bonus, most of these metals have Awesome McCool Names
, usually ending in -ium or -ite.
The Absurdly Sharp Blade
of the series may or may not be made of this material, and it is also common to see it made into bullets. Note that simply being made of a strong material wouldn't necessarily make a blade made out of it sharper (although it would hold it's edge). And due to the fact that a super strong metal is unlikely to deform on impact after being fire from a gun and would likely not have as much stopping power as lead.
After building up a reputation as a badass metal, something made of this may be destroyed just to show how strong a character is, making it an inanimate form of the Worf Effect
Note that mundane metal being overestimated does not count for this trope unless it is being called out as a special case, or if it is called the strongest metal. That's just Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale
Subtrope of Made of Indestructium
. Super Trope to Thunderbolt Iron
. If the material is used to handle hazardous substances and the like it's also an example of Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment
You can find more examples on The Other Wiki
's list of fictional elements, materials, isotopes and atomic particles
[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
- Dragon Ball has Katchin (called Klangite in the English manga). The exact specifics of what it is and what it can do aren't really elaborated on, but it does seem to be very durable indeed in that a man-sized block of it snapped the Z sword in two without getting a scratch on it. In the game Buu's Fury, it appears as an unbreakable obstacle.
- Digimon gives us Chrome Digizoid. How durable it is varies from Digimon to Digimon, but considering that most digimon that use it are Ultimate or Mega levels, who frequently boast power levels above nuclear bombs, it is usually very hard to break.
- One Piece has Wapometal, created via the powers of prior villain Wapol's Munch-Munch Fruit. It's noted as being extremely durable and flexible. Among other things, it allows Franky to successfully build three vehicles which can also be a Combining Mecha.
- Marvel Comics gives us perhaps the most famous example in Adamantium, a material so strong even the Hulk can't break. Slightly less durable is Vibranium, which cancels out vibrations. The true example of this trope is the material that makes up the shield of Captain America, which has been off and on stated to be the strongest metal in the universe.
- The DC Universe has:
- Amazonium, the metal from which Wonder Woman's invulnerable bracelets are made.
- Supermanium, which was "The strongest metal known to science!...forged by him (Superman) from the heart of a mighty star!" It existed before the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- Inertron, the metallic material that's the hardest substance in the universe. It exists in the 30th century setting of the Legion Of Superheroes.
- Kryptonian metals in DC Comics are usually shown to be unnaturally durable.
- The Day The Earth Stood Still, the original one, doesn't specify the metal Klaatu's ship is made of, but it's made clear that the blowtorches and whatever other tools the humans are using can't penetrate it or melt it or even really affect it.
- Mithril silver from The Lord of the Rings and other works set in Middle Earth. One of the more realistic depictions of this trope, wearing a shirt made of it will stop sharp objects from piercing or cutting, but it will not stop blunt trauma.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, phrik is a metal strong enough to resist lightsabers, and a container of it survived the destruction of Alderaan.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe has at least two contenders for strongest metal:
- Molecularly bonded armor: The Stars' End prison was a forty-story tower composed of it, when Han tried to destroy it by blowing up the facility's main reactor it was launched into orbit instead.
- The quantum crystalline armor that the Sun Crusher's hull was made from, protected it from the crushing pressures within the gas giant Yavin and took a black hole to destroy.
- Valyrian steel in A Song of Ice and Fire, being based on Damascus steel.
- Larry Niven's Ringworld features scrith, which was described as being really strong.
- Some of the creepy artifacts associated with the Cthulhu Mythos are made from unknown metals that could not be scratched or melted with human technologies of the day.
[[folder:Live Action TV]]
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- "Balance of Terror". Cast rodinium was the hardest material known to Federation science. It was used to protect the Earth Outpost Stations along the Romulan Neutral Zone.
- "Obsession". Tritanium was a naturally occurring substance 21.4 times as hard as diamond.
- Blake's 7- The Liberator's hull was made of "Herculanium"
- Stargate Verse: Among the great many properties of naquadah is the fact that certain forms of it, such as the one(s) forming the Milky Way- and Pegasus-type stargates, are next to indestructible (it takes several gigatons of energy to destroy a gate).
- Stargate SG-1: Stargates made of Naquadah may be hard to damage but the real toughest metal is Trinium, so rare that the SGC usually alloys it with something. The second iris to the gate is titanium-trinium alloy, trinium-tipped darts can penetrate Kull warrior armor, heck in the episode where the metal is introduced an arrow made of trinium is fired through the stargate, goes right through bullet-proof glass and buries itself in Jack's arm.
- Smallville has the aforementioned Kryptonian metals. The hull of Clark's ship is so durable that even he can't scratch it and it takes kryptonite to destroy (much like himself).
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Adamantite/Adamantine: The D&D version of Marvel Comics adamantium.
- Obdurium, introduced in the 3rd Edition supplement Stronghold Builder's Guidebook. It's stronger than Adamantine.
- In the Magic: The Gathering setting Mirrodin, there's an indestructible metal called darksteel. Artifacts of darksteel were the first cards to have the indestructible game-mechanic. Just how anyone makes things out of darksteel in the first place isn't clearly explained in the storyline, but all sources agree the finished products can't even be scratched.
- Metallic protodermis may or may not count, but Protosteel definitely does; it's only broken in the most extreme of scenarios.
- Exsidian is used as component of Energized Protodermis-resistant materials.
[[folder: Video Games
- RuneScape. The metal runite is stronger than mithril or adamantite.
- As mentioned in the Anime section, Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury has Katchin in it. It also has a weaker (but still durable) metal called "geromantium" which is used in Red Ribbon Robots.
- Ceratanium in the Mega Man universe. Several things are made of it, including a scissor-rang, a throwable sawblade, and a friggin' robot master. Carried over in Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX, where you have to collect them to make body parts.
- Though not stated outright, Xenoblade Chronicles has the metal that composes the Mechonis. Under normal circumstances, it can only be damaged by three things: Itself, the Monado, and any regular weapon under the Monado's enchantment.
- Extreme Dinosaurs treats Titanium as this for whatever reason. Its the one material they can't break.
- In an epsiode of Archer set on a space station, a criminal trying to cut through an emergency door describes the material it is made of as being like a mixture of Mithril and Adamantium.