It’s tempting to call beryllium the “Clark Kent” of the periodic table’s group 2 elements:
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com, viaWikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
Beryllium is usually found in bertrandite or beryl crystals and minerals.
The square-jawed, mild-mannered crystals get the job done but would never be mistaken for one of their glamorous associates, say, emeralds or aquamarines.
As a metal, beryllium is dull gray and usually covered with an oxide (“rust,” which is a lighter shade of gray).
But when the need for its unique properties arises, watch out!
And almost all of this “super” material comes from one source–Materion, the company that produced that last video.
Nothing nefarious or supervillainous is going on; there just happens to be a single huge deposit of beryllium in the world, in Utah, and Materion owns it. Unfortunately, it’s called Spor Mountain, not the Fortress of Solitude.
But it does have an awesome origin story (the wave of supervolcanic eruptions at the end of this video segment):