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unobtainium

noun; derivation
A fictitious chemical element found on Mars There was a contest that was designed to be a variation of "Robo-Mars-Explorer," so everything was named with a scientific theme in mind. The object of the game is to pick up blocks and put them into bins. A few blocks were designated to be made of special material (i.e. worth bonus points) and was playfully named UNOBTAINIUM to convey both a sense of rarity and to parallel names of real chemical elements.
 
Bonus points are awarded for locating, acquiring, and depositing the rare blocks composed of Martian 'Unobtanium' in the designated bin
Etymology : The prefix 'un- means not and, together with the root obtain, conveys that element is very hard to get (unobtainable) and is therefore valuable. The -IUM suffix gives the term a form similar to the names of chemical elements in the Periodic Table such as uranium, selenium, and cesium.
Source : Introduction to Engineering Design: ELEC 201 Course Notes John K. Bennett
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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