Comic books have a proud tradition of inventing incredible substances that possess unique properties real-world manufacturers can only dream about. Of these, one of the most amazing is vibranium, one of the rarest and most precious metals found in the Marvel Universe.
Used in the fabrication of such iconic items as Captain America’s shield and Black Panther’s suit of mesh armor, vibranium is quite literally an out of this world material. Crashing to Earth as a meteorite millennia ago, this extraterrestrial metal comes in several varieties, each with its own remarkable attributes.
Of these, the most well-known (and highly coveted) is that found in the African nation Wakanda, the home of Black Panther and his people. Other types include Antarctic vibranium (also known as “Anti-Metal”) and artificial vibranium – man-made substitutes like NuForm and Reverbium, both of which are far less stable than the real deal.
With Black Panther pouncing into cinemas this month – and vibranium playing a key part in proceedings – we thought now was as good a time as ever to pull together a handy primer on the properties of this fantastic metal.
To that end, here are 15 things you didn’t know vibranium could do.