How Many Elements Are Named for Mythological Figures?
As of June of 2014, seven elements are named for mythological figures: Niobium, Promethium, Thorium, Tantalum, Mercury, Titanium and Vanadium. The names are derived from Roman, Greek and Norse mythology.
The source of the seven elements named for mythological figures are as follows:
- Niobium was named after Niobe, who was the daughter of Tantalus. The name was chosen due to the similarities between niobium and the element tantalum.
- Promethium was named after Prometheus, the Greek god who gave fire to mankind.
- Thorium is named for the Norse god of thunder, Thor.
- Tantalum’s name comes from Tantalus, who was a Greek mythological figure.
- Mercury is the name of the Roman messenger god, who was known for his speed through the air.
- Titanium’s name is derived from the Titans who appear in Greek mythology.
- Vanadium takes its name from Vanadis, who is also known as Freya in Norse mythology. She is the goddess of beauty.