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[[folder: Music Videos]]
* In Music/{{Cat Hairballs}}, [[WesternAnimation/{{RenAndStimpy}} Stimpy's]] ''hairballs'' become this, what with apparently being so versatile that they can be made into everything from high heel shoes to ''Italian sports cars''. Because of this, Stimpy is forced to hwarf hairballs up for Ren until Stimpy passes out from exhaustion and gets [[PainToTheAss stamped on the butt cheeks.]]
[[/folder]]


* ''Fanfic/WhiteSheepRWBY'': As in [[WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} canon]], Dust is the AppliedPhlebotinum used for everything, but all the deposits that have been discovered are running out, and the world is approaching a PeakOil situation. While there are still more deposits in the [[ForbiddenZone Grimmlands]], one of the biggest game changers is the reveal that Dust actually ''grows'' the closer you get to Salem's tower and the Pools of Annihilation. Salem has basically unlimited money just from the Dust she clears off her tower every once in a while. Weiss, the heiress of the largest Dust company on the planet, is utterly gobsmacked and says this runs counter to everything the world knows about Dust. [[spoiler:Giving mining rights to the other countries is a large step forward in getting the Grimmlands recognized as a nation]].

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* ''Fanfic/WhiteSheepRWBY'': As in [[WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} canon]], Dust is the AppliedPhlebotinum used for everything, but all the deposits that have been discovered are running out, and the world is approaching a PeakOil [[PostPeakOil Peak Oil]] situation. While there are still more deposits in the [[ForbiddenZone Grimmlands]], one of the biggest game changers is the reveal that Dust actually ''grows'' the closer you get to Salem's tower and the Pools of Annihilation. Salem has basically unlimited money just from the Dust she clears off her tower every once in a while. Weiss, the heiress of the largest Dust company on the planet, is utterly gobsmacked and says this runs counter to everything the world knows about Dust. [[spoiler:Giving mining rights to the other countries is a large step forward in getting the Grimmlands recognized as a nation]].

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* ''Fanfic/WhiteSheepRWBY'': As in [[WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} canon]], Dust is the AppliedPhlebotinum used for everything, but all the deposits that have been discovered are running out, and the world is approaching a PeakOil situation. While there are still more deposits in the [[ForbiddenZone Grimmlands]], one of the biggest game changers is the reveal that Dust actually ''grows'' the closer you get to Salem's tower and the Pools of Annihilation. Salem has basically unlimited money just from the Dust she clears off her tower every once in a while. Weiss, the heiress of the largest Dust company on the planet, is utterly gobsmacked and says this runs counter to everything the world knows about Dust. [[spoiler:Giving mining rights to the other countries is a large step forward in getting the Grimmlands recognized as a nation]].


* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'': Quite a few different types.
** Gameplay-wise, any rare resource is ''supposed'' to be this, but it doesn't always work out that way. Control Modules, Gallium, Morphics, Neural Sensors, and Tellurium are all reasonably difficult to obtain, but blueprints don't require them in very high numbers, so the supply tends to outpace the demand. Orokin Cells, on the other hand, are required in every high-end blueprint in large quantities, making them much more valuable.
** Argon Crystals are only mildly difficult to obtain, but they have one flaw that makes them extremely frustrating: They decay outside of the Void, meaning it is impossible to stockpile them. Many high-end blueprints require Argon, requiring quick dips back in the Void for farming.
** Nitain Extract was originally only obtained from rare Alerts, and the blueprints that needed it tended to require large quantities of it. The Nightwave system changed that, as large amounts of Nitain can be bought for relatively cheap with the Nightwave credits.
** And then there are the research components: Detonite Ampules (which combine into Detonite Injectors), Fieldron Samples (which combine into Fieldron), and Mutagen Samples (which combine into Mutagen Masses). The lesser versions are uncommon drops from enemies, but converting them into the more advanced versions is expensive, so it's generally easier to run the tedious Invasion missions instead. Ironically, these are all ''extremely'' common in-universe; Detonite Injectors are used as ammo by Grineer, Fieldron is a basic component of Corpus energy weapons, and the Mutagen Mass is a still-living chunk of Infested flesh that produces toxins.



* Though not exactly AppliedPhlebotinum (it may yet turn out to be), Roy's sword in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is enhanced with an alloy of starmetal, which required a sidequest to obtain and quite some time to find a smith to forge it.

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* Though not exactly AppliedPhlebotinum (it may yet turn out to be), Roy's ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Roy was told his broken ancestral sword in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is enhanced with an alloy of was forged from starmetal, which required requiring a sidequest to obtain more. Roy was rather unimpressed when he discovered the "vast wealth" of starmetal was a chunk smaller than his fist. Furthermore, his sword never had any starmetal in it; the whole thing was a distraction to get rid of his party for a while. However, when he finds an honest smith, she tells him that the small chunk of starmetal he found ''is'' immensely valuable ("Most of it tends to burn up in the atmosphere, you know") and quite some time reforges his sword with it as an alloy. It lets his sword overcome most forms of damage reduction and occasionally releases bursts of energy that are harmful to find a smith to forge it.undead and evil outsiders.

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** A variation in the serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E4TheDaleksMasterPlan The Daleks' Master Plan]]; the Daleks' UltimateWeapon depends on a supply of the rare substance taranium. Unfortunately for them, the Doctor gets his hands on it first, and the Daleks spend the rest of the story trying to get it back.


** The adventure ''Recap/TintinTheShootingStar'' revolves around a mission to retrieve a sample of unobtainium (dubbed "Phostlite") from a fallen meteorite. The only obvious property of the stuff is making mushrooms grow really fast. And other plants. And animals, like butterflies and spiders. Fortunately, germs don't seem to be included.
** In ''Recap/TintinDestinationMoon'', Professor Calculus has invented a new substance -- calculon -- which can "resist even the highest temperatures", with which to make the nuclear fission motor for the rocket.

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** The adventure ''Recap/TintinTheShootingStar'' revolves around a mission to retrieve a sample of unobtainium (dubbed "Phostlite") from a fallen meteorite. The only obvious property of the stuff is making mushrooms things grow really fast. And other plants. And fast, like mushrooms... and plants... and animals, like butterflies and spiders. Fortunately, germs don't seem to be included.
** In ''Recap/TintinDestinationMoon'', Professor Calculus has invented a new substance -- calculon -- which can "resist even the highest temperatures", with which to make the [[OrionDrive nuclear fission motor motor]] for the rocket.


The most common varieties of unobtainium in fiction sit somewhere in the middle, like materials so resistant to heat and/or damage as to be {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le compared to other, similar substances. Materials such as {{mithril}} are the [[FantasyMetals fantasy version]]. ThunderboltIron is especially popular in fiction (and has some [[TruthInTelevision basis in reality]] until smelting was invented(which takes ''ridiculously'' hot - 1250 °C or 2282 °F - furnaces, hence the term "[[TechnologyLevels Iron Age]]"), it was the only source of refined iron).

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The most common varieties of unobtainium in fiction sit somewhere in the middle, like materials so resistant to heat and/or damage as to be {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le compared to other, similar substances. Materials such as {{mithril}} are the [[FantasyMetals fantasy version]]. ThunderboltIron is especially popular in fiction (and has some [[TruthInTelevision basis in reality]] until smelting was invented(which invented (which takes ''ridiculously'' hot - 1250 °C or 2282 °F - furnaces, hence the term "[[TechnologyLevels Iron Age]]"), it was the only source of refined iron).



* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' they have a special liquid called LCL which has several useful properties. One is its ability to conduct electrical signals, useful for electrically conducting nerve impulses between an Evangelion pilot and his/her Evangelion. But more amazing is its property that it can hold vast amounts of dissolved oxygen at concentrations high enough that once it has filled the lungs, a human can directly breath the oxygen present in it (handy thing when you have to fill a bio-mecha cockpit with this stuff and have the pilot be completely submerged in it). [[spoiler: It's actually the blood of the Angel Lilith, which adds all sorts of retroactive squick when you realize they've been "breathing" it the whole time.]]

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* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' they have a special liquid called LCL which has several useful properties. One is its ability to conduct electrical signals, useful for electrically conducting nerve impulses between an Evangelion pilot and his/her Evangelion. But more amazing is its property that it can hold vast amounts of dissolved oxygen at concentrations high enough that once it has filled the lungs, a human can directly breath the oxygen present in it (handy thing when you have to fill a bio-mecha cockpit with this stuff and have the pilot be completely submerged in it). [[spoiler: It's [[spoiler:It's actually the blood of the Angel Lilith, which adds all sorts of retroactive squick when you realize they've been "breathing" it the whole time.]]



* In ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'' swords are made from a rare ore which makes them indestructible. The near-impossibility of getting said ore [[spoiler: and the ease at which the Claymore's organization is able to get the ore to make new swords]] becomes a big supporting evidence of a major plot point quite far into the story.

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* In ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'' swords are made from a rare ore which makes them indestructible. The near-impossibility of getting said ore [[spoiler: and [[spoiler:and the ease at which the Claymore's organization is able to get the ore to make new swords]] becomes a big supporting evidence of a major plot point quite far into the story.



* Bombastium from the ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse is believed by a Brutopian secret agent (hinted to actually be his country's prime minister, since he is a caricature of Nikolas Khrouchtchev and seems to be able to command the Brutopian navy) to be an all-mighty unobtainium. It is a pink substance that's so rare that the world's whole quantity of bombastium looks like an ice cream ball. (Literally. The world's whole reserves of bombastium are a pink ball stuck inside a big ice cube.) Since Scrooge was pushed into buying the thing, the Brutopian dignitary chases him all around the world, trying to buy and later to steal the bombastium. When he finally gets hold on the ball, it is discovered that [[spoiler: its only power is to make ice cream: one tiny bit of bombastic in a barrel of water transforms into a barrel of ice cream, each time of a different savor]], and the Brutopian who doesn't like ice cream angrily gives the ball back to Scrooge.

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* Bombastium from the ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse is believed by a Brutopian secret agent (hinted to actually be his country's prime minister, since he is a caricature of Nikolas Khrouchtchev and seems to be able to command the Brutopian navy) to be an all-mighty unobtainium. It is a pink substance that's so rare that the world's whole quantity of bombastium looks like an ice cream ball. (Literally. The world's whole reserves of bombastium are a pink ball stuck inside a big ice cube.) Since Scrooge was pushed into buying the thing, the Brutopian dignitary chases him all around the world, trying to buy and later to steal the bombastium. When he finally gets hold on the ball, it is discovered that [[spoiler: its [[spoiler:its only power is to make ice cream: one tiny bit of bombastic in a barrel of water transforms into a barrel of ice cream, each time of a different savor]], and the Brutopian who doesn't like ice cream angrily gives the ball back to Scrooge.



* In ''Film/{{District 9}}'', the unnamed nanofluid is found in prawn technology in extremely small amounts, and is apparently quite precious. It has the power to [[spoiler: activate the aliens' ship as well as transform a human into a prawn]].

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* In ''Film/{{District 9}}'', the unnamed nanofluid is found in prawn technology in extremely small amounts, and is apparently quite precious. It has the power to [[spoiler: activate [[spoiler:activate the aliens' ship as well as transform a human into a prawn]].



* Atium and Lerasium from the ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' books, atium is only mined in one place, it's extremely rare, and incredibly powerful, because it allows an allomancer to see a few moments into the future, effectively making them nearly invincible in combat. While only a few nuggets of Lerasium appear to exist and anyone who ingests Lerasium will instantaneously become a mistborn. All of the properties of Atium and Lerasium are ultimately justified by them being [[spoiler: made from the bodies of gods]].
** In ''Literature/WaxAndWayne'', Atium and Lerasium are no more due to some shuffling in the godly domain, but on the other hand, there's [[spoiler: Harmonium, or Ettmetal, a metal with properties similar to Caesium and has the ability to produce power for specially designed airships]]. Similarly treated, aluminum, which is allomantically neutral, provides the justification for wearing a TinfoilHat, and is rare enough that it's worth more than gold (see the RealLife folder. Despite being one of the most common metals in the earth's crust, before refining processes were perfected it was immensely valuable).
* Creator/JohnRingo's ''[[Literature/IntoTheLookingGlass Looking Glass]]'' series is so named for the instantaneous transmission portals which were created by what were originally thought to be Higgs bosons. That identification was later corrected, and they were renamed [[AppliedPhlebotinum Looking Glass Bosons]]. The looking glasses of the first book take a secondary role however, after the series takes off into space in a ship powered by a BlackBox of alien origin, [[spoiler: and when the ship is destroyed in the third book, it is entirely remade by an alien race the ship just saved.]] This leads to the fourth book where the captain of the ship discovers he is missing a large number of alien made spare parts and [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] all of this saying, "And now I have to call [=SpaceCom=] and explain to them that we're non-mission-capable until a couple of tons of unobtainium parts and tools get found!"

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* Atium and Lerasium from the ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' books, atium is only mined in one place, it's extremely rare, and incredibly powerful, because it allows an allomancer to see a few moments into the future, effectively making them nearly invincible in combat. While only a few nuggets of Lerasium appear to exist and anyone who ingests Lerasium will instantaneously become a mistborn. All of the properties of Atium and Lerasium are ultimately justified by them being [[spoiler: made [[spoiler:made from the bodies of gods]].
** In ''Literature/WaxAndWayne'', Atium and Lerasium are no more due to some shuffling in the godly domain, but on the other hand, there's [[spoiler: Harmonium, [[spoiler:Harmonium, or Ettmetal, a metal with properties similar to Caesium and has the ability to produce power for specially designed airships]]. Similarly treated, aluminum, which is allomantically neutral, provides the justification for wearing a TinfoilHat, and is rare enough that it's worth more than gold (see the RealLife folder. Despite being one of the most common metals in the earth's crust, before refining processes were perfected it was immensely valuable).
* Creator/JohnRingo's ''[[Literature/IntoTheLookingGlass Looking Glass]]'' series is so named for the instantaneous transmission portals which were created by what were originally thought to be Higgs bosons. That identification was later corrected, and they were renamed [[AppliedPhlebotinum Looking Glass Bosons]]. The looking glasses of the first book take a secondary role however, after the series takes off into space in a ship powered by a BlackBox of alien origin, [[spoiler: and [[spoiler:and when the ship is destroyed in the third book, it is entirely remade by an alien race the ship just saved.]] This leads to the fourth book where the captain of the ship discovers he is missing a large number of alien made spare parts and [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] all of this saying, "And now I have to call [=SpaceCom=] and explain to them that we're non-mission-capable until a couple of tons of unobtainium parts and tools get found!"



** In its sequel, ''TabletopGame/WarhammerAgeOfSigmar'', we have Sigmarite, a metal ore mined at great cost from Mallus, the Old World's core. It's mainly used in the weapons, armor and equipment of the Stormcast Eternals and it's rumored that Ghal Maraz, Sigmar's hammer, it's made of it. [[spoiler: This reinforces the fan theory that Sigmarite it's just gromril, also called meteoric iron. A metal used extensively by the dwarves and the Empire in their magic weapons and heavy armors.]]

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** In its sequel, ''TabletopGame/WarhammerAgeOfSigmar'', we have Sigmarite, a metal ore mined at great cost from Mallus, the Old World's core. It's mainly used in the weapons, armor and equipment of the Stormcast Eternals and it's rumored that Ghal Maraz, Sigmar's hammer, it's made of it. [[spoiler: This [[spoiler:This reinforces the fan theory that Sigmarite it's just gromril, also called meteoric iron. A metal used extensively by the dwarves and the Empire in their magic weapons and heavy armors.]]


For WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief, authors may pick out something actively being researched within the scientific community [[RippedFromTheHeadlines at the time of writing]] and [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture run with it]]. Naturally, this risks dating the work when ScienceMarchesOn and today's "super technology" buzzword becomes the next generation's [[ILoveNuclearPower comic-book junk science]]. The current favorite in [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard sci-fi]] is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3 Helium-3]] believed by many to be ''the'' fuel of choice for those nifty fusion reactors that should be perfected [[{{Vaporware}} any time now]]. Theoretically, it's a safe large-scale energy source with few [[GreenAesop environmental side effects]]. But more importantly, though, there's extremely little of it on Earth; on the Moon, it's NotRareOverThere -- which would provide [[IWantMyJetpack a good reason to go there]].

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For WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief, authors may pick out something actively being researched within the scientific community [[RippedFromTheHeadlines [[PhlebotinumDuJour at the time of writing]] and [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture run with it]]. Naturally, this risks dating the work when ScienceMarchesOn and today's "super technology" buzzword becomes the next generation's [[ILoveNuclearPower comic-book junk science]]. The current favorite in [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard sci-fi]] is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3 Helium-3]] believed by many to be ''the'' fuel of choice for those nifty fusion reactors that should be perfected [[{{Vaporware}} any time now]]. Theoretically, it's a safe large-scale energy source with few [[GreenAesop environmental side effects]]. But more importantly, though, there's extremely little of it on Earth; on the Moon, it's NotRareOverThere -- which would provide [[IWantMyJetpack a good reason to go there]].


* In Creator/HPLovecraft's "In the Walls of Eryx," the "crystals" on Venus are super high-energy sources for humans, though they have some strange psychic/religious value to the native Venusians.

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* In Creator/HPLovecraft's "In the Walls of Eryx," "Literature/InTheWallsOfEryx," the "crystals" on Venus are super high-energy sources for humans, though they have some strange psychic/religious value to the native Venusians.


* ''Snoopy vs. The Red Baron'' for the Playstation Portable does this bald-facedly. In order to make a superweapon called the Doodlebug, the Red Baron needs, what else? "Unobtainium." Subtle.

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* ''Snoopy vs. The Red Baron'' for the Playstation 2 and Playstation Portable does this bald-facedly. In order to make a superweapon called the Doodlebug, the Red Baron needs, what else? "Unobtainium." Subtle. Of course, the entire plot of the game is about a story Snoopy is imagining.


* Done with a twist in ''Anime/CastleInTheSky'' where the Levistone (a Grade A {{Unobtainium}}) is a well-known mineral (and the name of the material is Etherium instead of Levistone), commonly found in rocks -- however, it rapidly decays when exposed to air and thus serves no practical purpose. The movie's {{Precursors}} knew how to refine it and fashion it into durable crystals, with many amazing properties. This technology has been lost and the world's nations will now stop at nothing to lay their hands on the few remaining samples.

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* Done with a twist in ''Anime/CastleInTheSky'' where the Levistone (a Grade A {{Unobtainium}}) unobtainium) is a well-known mineral (and the name of the material is Etherium instead of Levistone), commonly found in rocks -- however, it rapidly decays when exposed to air and thus serves no practical purpose. The movie's {{Precursors}} knew how to refine it and fashion it into durable crystals, with many amazing properties. This technology has been lost and the world's nations will now stop at nothing to lay their hands on the few remaining samples.



* Vizorium is both the {{Unobtainium}} that makes warp-drive possible, and the central plot driver of the ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' Movie ''Project Eden''.

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* Vizorium is both the {{Unobtainium}} unobtainium that makes warp-drive possible, and the central plot driver of the ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' Movie ''Project Eden''.



* In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' universe we have: [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bacta bacta]], [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tibanna tibanna]] gas, [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Transparisteel transparisteel]] and [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Durasteel durasteel]] (which itself is an alloy of carvanium, lommite, carbon, meleenium, neutronium, and zersium)... Well, let's say there are lots of interesting materials and substances in the Star Wars EU. Special mention goes to [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Cortosis cortosis]], which is lightsaber-resistant. Or in its purest form actually causes lightsabers to short out. Cortosis doesn't have a monopoly on the lightsaber-resisting properties: phrik, beskar(Mandalorian Iron), ultrachrome, and songsteel also boast that property, Mandalorian Iron and phrik are said to be even stronger to near Adamantium-like degrees, with a container made of phrik actually managing to stay intact after being on Alderaan when the planet was destroyed. Cortosis's ability to short out a lightsaber blade on contact, however, is unique to it alone.

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* In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' universe we have: [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bacta bacta]], [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tibanna tibanna]] gas, [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Transparisteel transparisteel]] and [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Durasteel durasteel]] (which itself is an alloy of carvanium, lommite, carbon, meleenium, neutronium, and zersium)... Well, let's say there are lots of interesting materials and substances in the Star Wars EU. Special mention goes to [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Cortosis cortosis]], which is lightsaber-resistant. Or in its purest form actually causes lightsabers to short out. Cortosis doesn't have a monopoly on the lightsaber-resisting properties: phrik, beskar(Mandalorian Iron), ultrachrome, and songsteel also boast that property, Mandalorian Iron and phrik are said to be even stronger to near Adamantium-like degrees, with a container made of phrik actually managing to stay intact after being on Alderaan when the planet was destroyed. Cortosis's ability to short out a lightsaber blade on contact, however, is unique to it alone. It's also ''literally'' unobtanium for most of the series - it was introduced for ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', where the question of how regular swords don't get chopped into two halves of a sword the instant a lightsaber hits them is that all of the melee weapons in the game have a "cortosis weave" to them to make them resistant to lightsabers. And, in turn, the question of [[ForgottenPhlebotinum why cortosis isn't around]] four-thousand years after when ''[=KotOR=]'' takes place is answered: they ran out of the stuff putting it into everything.



** In ''Literature/WaxAndWayne'', Atium and Lerasium are no more due to some shuffling in the godly domain, but on the other hand, there's [[spoiler: Harmonium, or Ettmetal, a metal with properties similar to Caesium and has the ability to produce power for specially designed airships]]. Similarly treated, aluminum, which is allomantically neutral, provides the justification for wearing a TinfoilHat, and is rare enough that it's worth more than gold. (See the RealLife folder. Despite being one of the most common metals in the earth's crust, before refining processes were perfected it was immensely valuable).
* Creator/JohnRingo's ''[[Literature/IntoTheLookingGlass Looking Glass]]'' series is so named for the instantaneous transmission portals which were created by what were originally thought to be Higgs bosons. That identification was later corrected, and they were renamed [[AppliedPhlebotinum Looking Glass Bosons]]. The looking glasses of the first book take a secondary role however, after the series takes off into space in a ship powered by a BlackBox of alien origin, [[spoiler: and when the ship is destroyed in the third book, it is entirely remade by an alien race the ship just saved.]] This leads to the fourth book where the captain of the ship discovers he is missing a large number of alien made spare parts and [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] all of this saying, "And now I have to call [=SpaceCom=] and explain to them that we're non-mission-capable until a couple of tons of {{Unobtainium}} parts and tools get found!"

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** In ''Literature/WaxAndWayne'', Atium and Lerasium are no more due to some shuffling in the godly domain, but on the other hand, there's [[spoiler: Harmonium, or Ettmetal, a metal with properties similar to Caesium and has the ability to produce power for specially designed airships]]. Similarly treated, aluminum, which is allomantically neutral, provides the justification for wearing a TinfoilHat, and is rare enough that it's worth more than gold. (See gold (see the RealLife folder. Despite being one of the most common metals in the earth's crust, before refining processes were perfected it was immensely valuable).
* Creator/JohnRingo's ''[[Literature/IntoTheLookingGlass Looking Glass]]'' series is so named for the instantaneous transmission portals which were created by what were originally thought to be Higgs bosons. That identification was later corrected, and they were renamed [[AppliedPhlebotinum Looking Glass Bosons]]. The looking glasses of the first book take a secondary role however, after the series takes off into space in a ship powered by a BlackBox of alien origin, [[spoiler: and when the ship is destroyed in the third book, it is entirely remade by an alien race the ship just saved.]] This leads to the fourth book where the captain of the ship discovers he is missing a large number of alien made spare parts and [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] all of this saying, "And now I have to call [=SpaceCom=] and explain to them that we're non-mission-capable until a couple of tons of {{Unobtainium}} unobtainium parts and tools get found!"



** It even started out the same way {{Unobtainium}} usually starts: as an engineers joke. Rearden was originally trying to design fantastic bridges; once he discovered that it was impossible with regular metal, [[{{Determinator}} he set out to make his own]].

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** It even started out the same way {{Unobtainium}} Unobtainium usually starts: as an engineers joke. Rearden was originally trying to design fantastic bridges; once he discovered that it was impossible with regular metal, [[{{Determinator}} he set out to make his own]].



* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', true to its fantasy-scifi-blend form, borrows from myths for its {{Unobtainium}}, such as orichalcum, an alloy of copper, gold, silver, and mercury that couldn't even ''begin'' to exist if there wasn't magic in the world.

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', true to its fantasy-scifi-blend form, borrows from myths for its {{Unobtainium}}, Unobtainium, such as orichalcum, an alloy of copper, gold, silver, and mercury that couldn't even ''begin'' to exist if there wasn't magic in the world.



* As well as the [[ElementsDoNotWorkThatWay lanthanum]] used in [[FasterThanLightTravel jump drive]] technology, ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' features so many varieties of {{unobtainium}} that the latest edition [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it by including "unobtainium" as a trade good.

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* As well as the [[ElementsDoNotWorkThatWay lanthanum]] used in [[FasterThanLightTravel jump drive]] technology, ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' features so many varieties of {{unobtainium}} unobtainium that the latest edition [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it by including "unobtainium" as a trade good.



** Now the developer is planning for game worlds to each have their own unique {{unobtainium}} with each one making some rare materials with randomly generated properties. When he first tried it out, he expected metals but ended up getting cursed mist. So far, the closest approach to this has been [[spoiler:the Divine Metals that you find in Vaults, worn by angels. They're only slightly worse than Adamantine (better in density regards if desired for blunt weaponry), but the only way to get yourself some is to kill the wearers, which is probably the hardest thing to achieve in the game]].

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** Now the developer is planning for game worlds to each have their own unique {{unobtainium}} unobtainium with each one making some rare materials with randomly generated properties. When he first tried it out, he expected metals but ended up getting cursed mist. So far, the closest approach to this has been [[spoiler:the Divine Metals that you find in Vaults, worn by angels. They're only slightly worse than Adamantine (better in density regards if desired for blunt weaponry), but the only way to get yourself some is to kill the wearers, which is probably the hardest thing to achieve in the game]].



* Though not exactly AppliedPhlebotinum (it may yet turn out to be), Roy's sword in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is enhanced with an alloy of [[{{Unobtainium}} starmetal]], which required a sidequest to obtain and quite some time to find a smith to forge it.

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* Though not exactly AppliedPhlebotinum (it may yet turn out to be), Roy's sword in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is enhanced with an alloy of [[{{Unobtainium}} starmetal]], starmetal, which required a sidequest to obtain and quite some time to find a smith to forge it.



* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' has plenty of {{Unobtainium}}. They've stolen adamantium from the MarvelUniverse, and they've included some of the mystical variants, including orichalcium and mithril. Oddly enough, at the SuperHeroSchool Whateley Academy, mithril no longer counts as true {{Unobtainium}}, because there's a side character (Silver, a girl from India) who ''sweats'' mithril. The school has had to set up a mithril brokerage.

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* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' has plenty of {{Unobtainium}}.unobtainium. They've stolen adamantium from the MarvelUniverse, and they've included some of the mystical variants, including orichalcium and mithril. Oddly enough, at the SuperHeroSchool Whateley Academy, mithril no longer counts as true {{Unobtainium}}, unobtainium, because there's a side character (Silver, a girl from India) who ''sweats'' mithril. The school has had to set up a mithril brokerage.


** ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' also has an unobtainium in the form of Transparent Aluminum, [[spoiler:which allows Scotty to create a giant aquarium in the shuttle to transport a breeding pair of whales back to 24th century Earth]]. Significantly, the material is known to Scotty, [[spoiler:who then helped the inventor create it in an ethically challenging time loop]]. It should be noted that recent advances in materials science actually have created a form of transparent steel, at least in the lab.[[note]]Transparent aluminium ''oxide'' is a real-world material starting to see commercial use, primarily as an alternative to Gorilla Glass called Sapphire Glass (sapphires are aluminium oxide crystals with trace amounts of, usually, iron, giving them a blue color).[[/note]]

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** ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' also has an unobtainium in the form of Transparent Aluminum, [[spoiler:which allows [[spoiler:the molecular formula for which Scotty to create a giant aquarium in gives the shuttle to transport a breeding pair of whales back to 24th century Earth]]. Significantly, the material is known to Scotty, [[spoiler:who then helped the original inventor create it in an ethically challenging time loop]].loop, in exchange for some high-quality transparent polymer slabs, the closest 20th century equivalent, to make a whale tank with]]. It should be noted that recent advances in materials science actually have created a form of transparent steel, at least in the lab.[[note]]Transparent aluminium ''oxide'' is a real-world material starting to see commercial use, primarily as an alternative to Gorilla Glass called Sapphire Glass (sapphires are aluminium oxide crystals with trace amounts of, usually, iron, giving them a blue color).[[/note]]

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* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombiesGardenWarfare'': The Chemist's upgrades include a chemical element called Unobtainium. And yes, it's literally called that.


* The ''WesternAnimation/Ducktales2017'' episode "Whatever Happened To Della Duck" reveals that the Sphere Of Selene rocket runs on gold for fuel, which Scrooge apparently never thought of putting inside when she crash lands on the moon.

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* The ''WesternAnimation/Ducktales2017'' episode "Whatever Happened To Della Duck" reveals that the Sphere Of [[spoiler:Spear of Selene rocket runs on gold for fuel, which Scrooge apparently never thought of putting inside when she Della crash lands on the moon.]]


*** Even today separating aluminum isn't as easy as you might think -- it requires huge amounts of electrical power. Raw ore (bauxite) gets shipped around the world to take advantage of the cheapest possible electricity prices (Iceland smelts bauxite from South America to take advantage of its surplus geothermal power). It's also heavily recycled, as melting it down and re-casting it only requires 5% as much power as refining it.

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*** Even today separating aluminum isn't as easy as you might think -- it requires huge amounts of electrical power. Raw ore (bauxite) gets shipped around the world to take advantage of the cheapest possible electricity prices (Iceland smelts bauxite from South America to take advantage of its surplus geothermal power, while Quebec does the same to take advantage of its abundant hydroelectric power). It's also heavily recycled, as melting it down and re-casting it only requires 5% as much power as refining it.

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