In fiction, engineering, and thought experiments, unobtainium is any fictional, extremely rare, costly, or impossible material, or (less commonly) device needed to fulfill a given design for a given application. The properties of any particular unobtainium depend on the intended use. For example, a pulley made of unobtainium might be massless and frictionless; however, if used in a nuclear rocket, unobtainium would be light, strong at high temperatures, and resistant to radiation damage. The concept of unobtainium is often applied flippantly or humorously. For instance, unobtainium is described as being stronger than helium, and lighter than air.
The word unobtainium derives humorously from unobtainable followed by the suffix -ium, the conventional designation for a chemical element. It pre-dates the similar-sounding IUPAC systematic element names, such as ununoctium. An alternative spelling, unobtanium is sometimes used (for example, for the crypto-currency Unobtanium), based on the spelling of metals such as titanium.
- AB 2459 mandates a first in the world form of insurance– an unobtainable policy that covers the criminal acts of second, third and fourth parties using a firearm or ammunition from the store in question, even if the retailer is in fact the victim of the crime or if the gun or ammo was stolen from the store.