Created By: azraelfinalstarDecember 22, 2012 Last Edited By: EkuranMay 25, 2014

Indestructium

A ridiculously durable fictional material.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Fictional materials that are extremely durable. 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 materials 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 Bad Ass super material, 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 materials being overestimated does not count for this trope unless it is being called out as a special case. That's just Sci Fi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale.

Subtrope of Made Of Indestructium. Super Trope to Thunderbolt Iron and Mithril. 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.


Examples

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    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.
  • 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's 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics gives us perhaps the most famous example in Adamantium, a material so strong even the Hulk can't break it. 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.

    Film 
  • The Day The Earth Stood Still 1951 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.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe
    • Phrik is a metal strong enough to resist lightsabers, and a container of it survived the destruction of Alderaan.
    • 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.

    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.
  • Blakes Seven- 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. 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).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons And 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.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE
    • 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.

     Video Games 
  • Rune Scape. The metal runite is stronger than mithril or adamantite.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Extreme Dinosaurs treats titanium as this for whatever reason. It's the one material they can't break.
  • In an episode 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.

Community Feedback Replies: 58
  • December 22, 2012
    captainpat
    I think this is Made Of Indestructium.
  • December 22, 2012
    KTera
    I think it's Unobtainium.
  • December 22, 2012
    azraelfinalstar
    Its a subtrope of both, but it covers ground that they don't. Basically its a type of unobtanium (at least sometimes) that is made of indestructium.
  • December 22, 2012
    KZN02
    What about resistance to dangerous materials? That way, we could tie this in with my Phlebotinum Handling Equipment.
  • December 22, 2012
    StarSword
    Link fix in draft.
  • December 22, 2012
    StarSword
    TV:
    • 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).
  • December 22, 2012
    WaxingName
    Mithril is a common type of this.
  • December 22, 2012
    randomsurfer
    IIRC The Cape's cape in The Cape was made from some superstrong, superresiliant, superlight, superflexible, etc. metal - but I could be wrong about that. It's hard to google "the cape's cape" and get relevant hits.

    EDIT: No, I did not RC. It's spider silk, "stronger than Kelvar but thinner than Filiment." Nevermind.
  • December 22, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    [[folder: Literature]]
    • Larry Niven's Ringworld features scrith which was described as being really strong.
  • December 23, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    You can find more examples on The Other Wiki's List of fictional elements, materials, isotopes and atomic particles.

    Comic Books
    • 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.

    Literature
    • 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.

    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.

    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And 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.

    Video Games
    • Rune Scape. The metal runite is stronger than mithril or adamantite.
  • December 23, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Live Action TV
    • Blakes Seven- The Liberator's hull was made of "Herculanium"

  • December 23, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I think you're all thinking of Thunderbolt Iron.
  • December 23, 2012
    azraelfinalstar
    Thunderbolt Iron would be a subtrope of this actually.
  • December 23, 2012
    MaxWest
    A later Season 1 episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had the rangers battling the Lizzinator as their monster of the week. They could not hurt him because his skin was found to be made out of supermetals (which are never identified by name).
  • December 23, 2012
    JonnyB
    I don't see much difference between this and Made Of Indestructium.
  • December 23, 2012
    captainpat
    ^ My guess is that Made Of Indestructium doesn't have to be metal and deals the object made from the material, not the material itself like this trope.
  • December 23, 2012
    azraelfinalstar
    Correct. This isn't about the object, but about what the object is made of.
  • December 23, 2012
    zarpaulus
    Literature
    • 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.

    Live Action TV
    • 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.
  • December 24, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Call Of Cthulhu supplement Fragments of Fear. The Insects from Shaggai (Shan) have temples to Azathoth made of a strange indestructible gray metal.
  • December 24, 2012
    StarSword
    ^^Trinium is also used in the hulls of Prometheus-, Daedalus- and O'Neill-class warships.

    TV (stick at the top):
    • Neutronium is frequently used for this, with examples found in Star Trek[[labelnote:*]]TOS: "The Doomsday Machine" had the titular nearly indestructible superweapon's hull made from it[[/labelnote]], Star Wars[[labelnote:*]]Imperial hull plating is partially made from it according to the ICS[[/labelnote]], and Stargate[[labelnote:*]]SG1: "Unnatural Selection" had the Asgard encase the Time Dilation field generator in it to keep the Replicators from getting to it[[/labelnote]] among others. Reality check: what sci-fi writers like to call neutronium, the material neutron stars are made of, is degenerate matter that physicists predict would actually have more properties in common with a liquid.
  • December 24, 2012
    lakingsif
    Unobtainium, Indestructium, do we need another one?

    As I've seen examples on Made Of Indestructium which say 'not the object, the indestructium', and many of these overlap with Unobtainium (like that stuff in Stark's arc reactor), this is just The Same But More Specific.
  • December 24, 2012
    lakingsif
    Along those lines, though, you could call it Infrangium, because the metal is infrangible - usually a property specifically of metals and basically just means unbreakable taken Up To Eleven, sometimes damaging what attempted to damage it.
  • December 24, 2012
    Sunchet
    Megatal from Sonic The Comic.
  • December 24, 2012
    randomsurfer
    "...Adamantium, a material so strong even the Hulk can't break." The Hulk did once crack an Adamantium statue that Alicia Masters had made in his honor.
  • December 25, 2012
    dvorak
    Video Game
  • December 25, 2012
    ArcadesSabboth
    I don't think mithril is indestructible -- I can't recall ever seeing it called that in Middle-earth books. It's malleable and shiny like silver, and can be made stronger and lighter than steel, and it's very rare, so it's a precious metal. But other than the fact it can apparently be refined and worked without complex anaerobic industrial processes, and the ore is supposed to be super-rare, its description is little different from real titanium. And it isn't even regarded as magical or supernatural -- it's a natural thing you find in the ground on Earth.

    Also, it isn't called "mithril silver." Mithril, Moria-silver, and truesilver are the names.

    I do have a valid example, though:

    • In the Magic The Gathering setting Mirrodin, there's an indestructible metal named 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.
  • December 27, 2012
    Ekuran
    How about Super Material, or Super Tough Material? You know, since there can be several types of material in a verse that are better than in real life.
  • December 27, 2012
    SharleeD
    • 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.
  • December 28, 2012
    lakingsif
    Hmm, just thought you may want to specify that this is not Made Of Indestructium, otherwise people will list things saying "made out of [the strongest metal ever]..." and stuff, as has happened inversely on the other page.
  • January 9, 2013
    chicagomel
    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 whatver other tools the humans are using can't penetrate it or melt it or even really affect it.
  • January 10, 2013
    GeminiSparkSP
    Ceratanium in the Mega Man universe. Several things, including a scissor-rang, a throwable sawblade, and a friggin' robot master. Carried over in the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX, where you have to collect them to make body parts.
  • January 12, 2013
    Ekuran
    So...anyone else thinking about changing the name to Super Tough Metal/Material. I didn't get any responses last time.
  • January 16, 2013
    StarSword
    Super Tough Material. I've seen examples of this that aren't metallic (I mentioned neutronium earlier).
  • January 16, 2013
    sgamer82
    • 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.
  • January 16, 2013
    Ekuran
    ^^Well then, if there's at least one more person who agrees, I'll change the title to Super Tough Material.
  • January 17, 2013
    Elbruno
    ^ I agree with the title change.

    • 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.
  • March 12, 2013
    azraelfinalstar
    Sorry, I've been busy, How about Strongest Material In The Universe? Super Tough Material is good, but I think this emphasizes the strength of the material better.
  • March 12, 2013
    aurora369
    We have Fantasy Metals, which is at least related. That trope also needs some work. Maybe merge?
  • March 25, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    I'd like a name and description that clearly differentiate the trope from Made Of Indestructium.
  • May 19, 2014
    jormis29
    Can be included in Metallic Tropes index
  • May 19, 2014
    DAN004
    If this is just a metal Made Of Indestructium, then it's The Same But More Specific.
  • May 21, 2014
    NESBoy
    There's a Universe Compendium for the Angry Birds video games. Known as The World of Angry Birds, during a section on Angry Birds Space, it describes Space King Pig's ship claws with the following: "the claw's pinchers are made from porkanium, the thoughest material in the universe. Even if the ship exploded, the indestructible claws would survive."
  • May 22, 2014
    Arivne
  • May 22, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    What's with the Overly Long Title? just call this The Indestructium and be done with it. This Aint Rocket Surgery son, it's clear enough.

    Also, Made Of Indestructium is technically about indestructable objects, whatever it is made up of. so that makes this more Super Trope. you can't have Made Of Indestructium without Indestructium.
  • May 22, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Maybe go even simpler than that and drop the "The" from the title.
  • May 22, 2014
    DAN004
    Made Of Indestructium covers this enough already. MTD.
  • May 22, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Didn't you read anything ShanghaiSlave just said?

    Made Of Indestructium is about indestructible objects. This is about the material they are made of, meaning that the latter is the supertrope to the former one.
  • May 22, 2014
    DAN004
    Made Of Indestructium also lists the materials themselves, I might add. (Adamantium in Marvel Comics, for one.)
  • May 23, 2014
    lakingsif
    ^ that's because there's nowhere else for them to go, Tough Materials probably a Missing Supertrope if there isn't already a version of it out there.

    Add: Note that the Unobtainium of this Universe may also be its Indestructium.
  • May 23, 2014
    DAN004
    See also Fantasy Metals
  • May 23, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Name this Indestructium or it's a no go. removing a hat.
  • May 24, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    Seconding Indestructium for the name.
  • May 24, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ thirding.
  • May 24, 2014
    lakingsif
    And I thought Indestructium had already been decided on as the title. Fourth-ing(?) Upping it, yeh
  • May 25, 2014
    Ekuran
    The description needs to be altered to account for the name change.
  • May 25, 2014
    lufan131
    Perhaps call it "unbreakable"?
  • May 25, 2014
    DAN004
    It doesn't have to be metal anymore, right?
  • May 25, 2014
    ropertroper
    Western Animation:
    • Rocky And Bullwinkle: In "The Treasure of Monte Zoom", Boris and Natasha struggle to get the titular treasure chest open. After failed attempts to pry it open, chop it open, blow it open, and drop it off a high cliff, Boris and Natasha set out to find an A-bomb, but Bullwinkle notices that there is a key in the keyhole.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable