Did you know that there was a soft, silvery metal that melts at room temperature? Introducing… gallium crystals. For those of you who are scientifically inclined, gallium has the symbol Ga on the periodic table with the atomic number 31. It doesn’t occur in free form in nature. Its compounds are found in trace amounts of zinc ores and bauxite, and is manufactured through a smelting process. Wikipedia has the full low-down on gallium crystals here.
What’s cool about gallium is that you can easily form it into anything you want, as long as you have a mold: a key, an ashtray, even a knife. All you need is some wax to make a mold and your imagination. This fellow on youtube gives you a decent introduction to the practical uses of the substance.
Unfortunately a big block of this metal doesn’t easily ship by mail. But a seller who calls himself Unusual on Fiverr is offering to send you a sample amount for $5. He says he will ship 10g worth to you anywhere in the world in one day, and judging by the feedback he seems legit. And for those of you who are keen to have a go at making something useful, you can have him send larger amounts as well.
If you were wanting to give that special someone a precious metal for a special occasion, this might be more fun to play around with than silver or gold.
Also read the short story featuring this item here!