A new mineral matching kryptonite's unique chemistry, as described in the film Superman Returns, has been identified by scientists at the Natural History Museum and Canada's National Research Council.
As you might remember from Superman movies, the large green crystals of kryptonite have a devastating affect on the superhero. However, unlike its famous counterpart, the new mineral is white, powdery and not radioactive. And, rather than coming from outer space, the real kryptonite was found in Serbia.
Geologists and mineralogists from mining group Rio Tinto discovered the unusual mineral. It didn't match anything known previously to science so they sort the help of mineral expert Dr Chris Stanley at the Natural History Museum.
'Towards the end of my research,' says Dr Stanley, 'I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula, sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide , and was amazed to discover that same scientific name written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns'.
'The new mineral does not contain fluorine and is white rather than green, but in all other respects the chemistry matches that for the rock containing kryptonite. We will have to be careful with it - we wouldn't want to deprive Earth of its most famous superhero!'
Now we just need to find Krypton...