In the film AVATAR, humans are most interested in Pandora because it is a rich source of an element that does not exist on Earth called “unobtainium.” In the film, unobtainium from Pandora is used to generate energy on Earth.
Unobtainium is not a real element, but it is a real word!
Since the 1950s, engineers and scientists have used the word to describe the perfect material to solve a particular engineering problem—except that it doesn’t exist! It comes from the word “unobtainable,” which means something that can't be found or acquired—something we can't get.
Over the years the meaning of unobtainium has been expanded to describe real elements on Earth that are very rare and expensive (although they do exist), many of which are used in electronics.
Is there a problem that you could solve with a little unobtainium?
Come see James Cameron's AVATAR: The Exhibition from June 22–September 22!
AVATAR: The Exhibition was organized by Seattle's EMP Museum and developed in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and James's Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment. © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. JAMES CAMERON'S AVATAR is a trademark of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.