These are a few of the most well-known compounds on the periodic table. As a hard to melt, shiny, and hard-to-melt collection, metals are appealing as commodities, jewelry and sometimes as nutrients. Although they share many characteristics they all have distinct capabilities. Let's look at some of the extreme compounds that are on the periodic table.

Densest: Osmium

Element No. 76 is the heaviest champion of Earth's natural substances. It's twice more dense than lead, and is packed with crystal structure and strong bonds that enable it to pack molecules together. More durable and more rigid than diamonds, it can make superb pen nibs as well as needles for record players.


Rarest: Rhodium

The world's rarest and unsurprisingly priciest nonradioactive metal accounts for less than one part per 200 million of the planet's crust and can cost up to 18 times as much as platinum. Every year, 66,000 pounds of No. 45 is converted into catalytic converters, coatings and catalytic converters for electrical components.


Most malleable: Gold

No. 79 is easy to shape without breaking. The estimates suggest that a single 1 ounce of gold can be hammered to form a sheet thin enough to cover 100 sq. feet. In reality, jewelers typically make an alloy of silver, nickel as well as other metals to improve their designs' durability.


Most obscure: Metallic hydrogen

Squeeze No. 1 has more than million times the atmospheric pressure of Earth, and it may be transformed to quantum matter. One of the rewards for the work is something that is part solid, part liquid with no electrical resistance at room temperature, making it superconductor. Scientists are still unable to definitively make metallic hydrogen, even though they believe it is present within gas giants like Jupiter.


Most transparent: Aluminum

If you can make any material as thin as possible that it is transparent. In the absence of that trick metals are usually not transparent, but element is not. 13 is an interesting exception. It is hit with strong enough X-rays and the foil lets ultraviolet radiation pass through for 40 quadrillionths second.