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Amusing Chemical Names

Published by eddiego65 in Life
November 16th, 2008

Ever heard of “erotic acid”? How about “traumatic acid”? As serious as their profession is, chemists do have a rather bizarre sense of humor. They have given some real molecules (mixtures or compounds) names that are quite unique, amusing, unusual and ridiculous, as follow.

Analcite: Well, everybody has their own analcite! Actually, this mineral of volcanic origin is alternatively called by the less amusing name of analcime. The name is derived from the Greek work that means “weak” as it produces a weak electrical charge when rubbed.

Anisole: Sounds like a molecule the Grim Reaper would be eager to collect. It is actually a colorless liquid with a pleasing aromatic smell, and is used in perfumery. It is also an insect pheromone, which attracts the opposite sex. Of course, if you are an insect.

Angelic acid: Not very angelic at all. It is an organic acid secreted by certain carabid beetles as a defense response. It is also extracted from roots of garden archangelica from which its name was derived.

Apatite: I hope you haven’t lost your “apatite” yet. This isn’t a mineral for starving people. Apatite refers to a group of phosphate mineral used widely as a phosphorus fertilizer. It is also a major component of teeth enamel and bones of all vertebrate animals.

BARF: Don’t barf yet, there’s more to come! This is shorthand for the chemical compound tris(pentafluorophenyl)boron or (B-Ar-F).

Bastardane: The molecular structure of this hydrocarbon deviates from the usual hydrocarbon caged arrangement, thus, it has come to be called bastardane–the illegitimate offspring.

Beta-BuTX: This isn’t an exercise equipment you can use to develop beta-BuTX. This is a fairly common type of snake venom with the complete name of beta-Bungarotoxin. Probably the venom becomes more potent if the snake bites you on the BuTX.

Buckminsterfullerene: Often referred to as buckyball, this is a collective term for stable but not completely unreactive carbon molecules with soccerball-shaped structures. A full family of fullerenes has been given names, such as Buckybabies, Rugby Ball, Russian Egg, Bucky Onions, Fuzzyball, Bunnyball and Platinum-Bur Ball.

Cadaverine and Putrescine: Both are organic chemical compounds produced by rotting and putrefying flesh, literally, the smell of death; and are poisonous in large doses. They also originate in some living processes, but since both are toxic, they are quickly excreted from the body. The presence of these molecules contributes to the distinctive odor of bad breath, urine and sperm, which also contains the related molecules of spermine and spermidine.

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  1. Posted November 16, 2008 at 5:46 am

    Great article. Full of info!

  2. Unofre Pili
    Posted November 16, 2008 at 5:47 am

    So entertaining to read. Great info.

  3. Posted November 16, 2008 at 7:08 am

    good info!

  4. Posted November 16, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Cute. :)

  5. Posted November 16, 2008 at 8:32 am


  6. Posted November 16, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Good article.

    Eddi where ever do you dig this stuff up : )


  7. Posted November 16, 2008 at 9:42 am

    love this. well researched.

  8. Posted November 16, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Fun…great write!

  9. Posted November 16, 2008 at 10:51 am

    nice job,i learn a lot today

  10. Posted November 16, 2008 at 11:08 am

    funny and interesting, you’ve done it again Ed.

  11. Posted November 16, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I certainly haven’t heard of a lot of those before.

  12. Posted November 16, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Haha its good, my fave is Fartox

  13. Posted November 16, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    This was a fun read. Thank you.

  14. Posted November 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Both Fun and Entertaining. :)

  15. Posted November 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Hilarious! I almost spilled my tea at “Moronic acid”!

    Thanks for that,


  16. Posted November 16, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks, everybody, for all your wonderful comments! Glad you enjoyed the article!

  17. Posted November 16, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    lol. this is really funny. :) thank you for this one eddie! great work…

  18. Posted November 17, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Wow, what a list – funny and educational all at once.
    DAMN that Fartox

  19. Posted November 17, 2008 at 10:13 am

    My dad is a scientist, he works in Biology, and yes they do have great senses of humor. Which is most noted because people assume they are all boring nerd types, cut and dry.

  20. Posted November 17, 2008 at 11:21 am

    great info….in my article that u read about triond loyality and those who dont understand well you were definitely one in my mind who is loyal and i hold you high in the informative department…thats why i say you can get so much on triond from poetry,thoughts,photos,facts and journals….in this write i love the erotic acid(b13) that is interesting…can i have some…lol,great work eddie

  21. Posted November 17, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    I had no idea acid could be angelic!

  22. goodselfme
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Nothing short of wonderful from you, friend. info galore,put together well and witty too.

  23. Darrin & Josy
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Damn… great info. Lol

  24. Posted November 17, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Exotic names anyway. LOL. Interesting facts. take care, Ruby

  25. Posted November 18, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    A lot of wacky and interestingly funny stuff!
    Great article!

  26. Posted November 18, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    informative, suggestive, funny. excellent work.

  27. Posted November 19, 2008 at 4:20 am

    REally wacky, but interesting too.

  28. Posted November 19, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Yes! Scientist do have a since of humor. My favorite is basterdone.
    Very funny and entertaining.

  29. David Irvine
    Posted November 20, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Great article. Put asmile on my face.

  30. Posted November 20, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Hilarious! Great Job! :)

  31. M J katz
    Posted November 21, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Eddie…what a great article! And I loved your little bits of humor added in. For a subject that could have been boring, you really spiced it up! Excellent work. I’m still smiling!

  32. Posted November 25, 2008 at 5:39 am

    This was very amusing and educational. ^_^

  33. Posted November 26, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Very educational, but those words just fly out of my head!

  34. Posted November 27, 2008 at 1:07 am

    You must be a chemist or a chemistry major to have come up with such information. Cool!

  35. Posted December 13, 2008 at 1:54 am

    How funny is this article? What a cute, fun, interesting piece of work!



    -Liane Schmidt.

  36. Posted December 14, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Interesting , I was amused by the different weird names chosen for the chemicals.

  37. Posted December 22, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Eddie, very interesting; really enjoyed the artwork too.

  38. Posted January 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I’m speechless about a specific one. Ha! Great writing!

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