Funny chemistry molecule names! :)

  • Arsole: Yes, believe it or not, there is actually a molecule called Arsole… and it’s a ring! It is the arsenic equivalent of pyrrole.
  • Bastardin: There are many bastadins, which are molecules isolated from the

    marine sponge Ianthella basta. They possess antibacterial,

    cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Unununium – an element
  • Cummingtonite: This mineral must have the silliest name of them all! Its official name is magnesium iron silicate hydroxide. It got its name from the locality where it was first found, Cummington, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Megaphone: Despite having a ridiculous name, the molecule is quite ordinary. It gets its name from being both a constituent of Aniba Megaphylla roots and a ketone.
  • Munchnones: No, these aren’t the favourite compound of the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz, but are in fact a type of mesoionic compound. 
  • Dickite: It got its name from the geologist that discovered it around the 1890s, Dr. W. Thomas Dick, of Lanarkshire, Scotland.
  • Fukalite: This wonderfully named mineral gets its name from the Fuka mine in the Fuka region of southern Japan. It is very rare, and is a form of calcium silico-carbonate.
  • Moronic Acid: Open-mouthed This is a triterpenoid organic acid that is found in Pistacia resin, and is therefore of interest to people studying archaeological relics, shipwrecks and the contents of ancient Egyptian jars. Its name comes from its corresponding hydroxy acid, which was originally named morolic acid since it was isolated from the heartwood of the mora tree, Mora excelsa. The keto acid then became moronic acid.
  • Traumatic Acid: This is a plant hormone which causes injured cells to divide and help repair the trauma – hence its name, and its synonym ‘wound hormone’.
  • Sexithiophene: This is a ‘sexi’ molecule – which means it has 6 sub-units, in this case of thiophene rings. Incidentally, the Latin for 5 sub-units is quinque (pronounced ‘kinky’), so by adding one subunit a quinque molecule becomes sexi… 
  • Bis(pinacolato)diboron: Although it sounds like it, this isn’t the active ingredient in a pina colada cocktail. Rather it is a versatile reagent for the preparation of boronic esters from halides, the diboration of olefins, and solid-phase Suzuki coupling. 
  • Angelic Acid: Angelic acid isn’t very angelic at all – it’s a defence substance for certain beetles. It gets its name from the Swedish plant Garden Angelica (Archangelica officinalis) 
  • Constipatic Acid: This is a constituent of some Australian lichens, but I don’t know how it got its name. Derivatives of this are protoconstipatic acid, dehydroconstipatic acid, and methyl constipatate.
  • Penguinone: This gets its name from the similarity of its 2D structure to a penguin.
    Penguinone - click for 3D structure



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