Imagine squeezing something in between two diamonds with a lot of force. What would it do to the thing? Well scientists did that with Tellurium and they found that it forms an atomic structure so complex that it doesn’t repeat itself. Tellurium is toxic and teratogenic (disruptive to the growth of a embryo or foetus), workers who exposed themselves to small quantities of Tellurium develop ‘tellurium breath’, which smells a lot like garlic. It was discovered in 1783 by a mine inspector named Franz-Joseph Müller von Reichenstein in Kleinschlatten, Transylvania. Müller was intrigued by ore from the mine as it had a metallic sheen. It was gold telluride, he studied the sample for 3 years and proved the presence of a new element. In 1789 he was sent another similar sample by a Hungarian scientist, Martin Kalproth, who then named it Tellurium. I wonder if they had garlic breath.
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