8 Odd Periodic Tables (and then lots more)


People love the Periodic Table of Elements, as long as they don't have to deal with the actual chemistry. The design of the table can be used to classify, or just illustrate, all sorts of groups.

1. Elephants

Who would have thought that elephants would have their own periodic table? See the full size picture here. This was designed by high school students at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts and purchased by the American Chemical Society, from which you can order your own copy on posters and t-shirts. You can download a .pdf with the key for each elephant element from their product page.

2. Chuck Norris

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Crazy Dog T-shirts offers an alternate look at periodic tables. This t-shirt says "Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table because he only recognizes the element of surprise."

3. Look Around You

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Here's a periodic table from the BBC series Look Around You. Only the right section is shown here. At first glance, it's pretty straightforward, with the elements helium, neon, argon, et cetera... but then you look closely and see podium, Christmas, and goo. In the other sections, you'll find goofinium, wax, business, Toronto, jazz, and a few more head scratchers among the real elements.

4. Rejected Elements

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Along the same lines as the above table, the Periodic Table of Rejected Elements contains names of things that sound like they should be elements, but aren't. Examples include antipathy, moron, grenadine, and delirium.

5. Interacting Elements

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This poster portrays the real elements on a periodic table  as cartoon characters who interact with each other. There are also chemistry jokes that may cause you to go "look it up" to understand the humor. Click on the image here to read the full-size version.

6. Game Controllers

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The Periodic Table of Controllers plots video game controllers from the oldest to the newest, which pretty much plots them from the simplest to the most advanced. Phones and computer devices were deliberately left out.

7. Mixology

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AllPosters sells the Periodic Table of Mixology which contains recipes for cocktails, seemingly in no particular order. Cool to hang in a dorm room, as if a college student would be able to afford to stock the ingredients. Image by Flickr user viralbus.

8. Social Media Elements

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Rick Liebling created this Periodic Table of Social Media Elements. While it isn't meant to be humorous, there's some insight here. The elements are people who use social media (with links) and practices that make the experience more useful. The linked post has a key to who or what all the elements are, and you can see the full-size version here.

More Tables

I also found a poster that has the Periodic Table of Vulgarity, but I'm not posting a picture because it's vulgar. I hope you understand.

The earlier post Periodic Tableware includes tables of comic book characters, desserts, and funk music. And a couple of real tables you can work or eat at!

More Periodic Tableware covers those of candy, vegetables, website, and mathematicians.

8 Alternative Periodic Tables looked at the subjects of cupcakes, typefaces, printing projects, cartoons, video game characters, videos about the real elements, LEGO® bricks, and something called awesoments which will become clear when you take a look.