Reuters reports that geologists have found a naturally-occurring mineral matching the composition of the fictional kryptonite, as defined by its museum placard in Superman Returns. The authentic substance will, unfortunately, be known by the name "jadarite".
Scientific developments often imitates art, primarily when it comes to science fiction, as detailed in books such as I'm Working On That. So it's neat to see this trend continue with superheroes, even if it's an instance of nature and not manmade technology.
What other substances might they find next? There have been many varieties of kryptonite: green, the fatal classic; gold, which permanently reduces Kryptonians to mere mortals; red, which causes random mutations; and a surplus of single-instance, Bizarro, and alternative media forms, such as pink kryptonite, which alters the affected's sexual persuasion.
My favorite was an episode of The Adventures of Superman in which some thugs were using kryptonite to determine Superman's secret identity: whoever was affected by the passing rock must be the Man of Steel. But one man was unexpectedly impaired by the kryptonite, causing him to pass out. The catch was that, as long as he was unconscious, he was as invulnerable as Superman himself! What a catch-22.
There was also a reference to kryptonite in a comic book that looked at the inspiration people have drawn from Superman. A father worried for his son with leukemia — until the boy, with more confidence than anyone else in the hospital had, said, "Don't worry, Dad; they'll get the kryptonite out." Brave kid — just like the men who have played him. Is it any wonder my hero isn't an athlete or musician, but an actor and his role?
What are your favorite memories of Superman or kryptonite?