Mental Floss

The element that dare not speak its name


You guys really got into the spirit of naming the new element! We had 20-plus entries, all of them amusing. I was tempted to pick "Colbertium" (would you pronounce the T in that?), seeing as how I'm a ginormous fan, but I think he's probably over having things named for him. My husband also suggested, based on the picture at left, "Dippindotium -- the element of the future." But I couldn't ignore the groundswell of support for a particular entry that was both amusing and scientifically accurate, seeing as how, like all inert gases except helium, the new element should really have a name that ends in "-on." On top of that, it also managed to honor the discoverers. Element 118 won't be named by scientists until its existence is verified by other labs -- they've nicknamed it "ununoctium" for now -- but for our part, we're gonna call it "Livermoron."

Hat tips and high fives to Tom for thinking of this brilliant moniker. Of course, it doesn't really matter unless we make it official -- so please go sign our online petition. If we get more than 100 signatures, we'll notify Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (we really will!) and see what they can do.