Well apparently plankton eating plastic already exists, kinda, so there’s that. And here’s this.
So sodium is highly reactive and when pure sodium comes into contact with water it explodes. Other alkali metals react more or less extremely; the main reason I chose sodium is because it was the first one to come to mind so that’s where my research went. (and even then, it didn’t go so far I don’t put that much time into working on my blog so research may be a bit of a stretch. Anyway’s the research was wasted time anyways.)
Anyway’s the hypothetical for today is, what if people could easily and cheaply produce and store large amounts of pure sodium metal at home using basic things like table salt.
Well, it doesn’t seem like much would happen if we left the hypothetical at that; when first suggesting it I overestimated the likelihood people would use non-conventional explosives (when did you last hear of someone bringing down a plane by turning their laptop battery explosive?). The existence of a dangerous material rarely has any serious consequences on the way crimes are committed except in a few special cases so let’s see what those can be.
Bank robbery, people don’t use explosives for robberies that often (I wonder why), and in most cases, it is simply smarter to take hostages, so I don’t think anyone stupid enough to try and blow open a bank vault or wall would think of mixing sodium with water.
Criminal distractions, seal some in something that dissolves slowly in water than drop it in a public fountain in either a park or better yet a mall. Not the easiest to pull off but criminals can get creative.
A rash of highly public terrorism, this would not happen, if it did happen, it would probably be some grassroots Eco-terrorism group, an especially fanatic one at that, but it still would be possible. Really while it is some work, they can do it already today, so I don’t think making it easier to do would have any real impact unless it became the easiest explosive to acquire and use for those with criminal intent. So here are a few consequences of that.
- Limit on the amount of table salt that can be purchased at once – a token gesture maybe sodium-based detergent as well, but I doubt that anyone will limit all products containing sodium or that sodium can be extracted from. (grocery sellers or local government.)
- Governments will have more excuses to spy – you bought an inordinate amount of sodium products this month. But really, they don’t need the excuse; they only need the excuse too legally charge someone.
- Sodium will be seen as having more serious health effects – Hey it explodes that sticks in our minds we’ll think about it more, we’ll identify it with danger and all that.
- They’ll be more videos for me to find demonstrating its explosive capacity – I don’t have to explain this, do I?
- Creative uses – it will have a much more extreme reaction if you put it in an acidic liquid, you can spit on a spot in the ground and use it as a trigger: some destructive some not, some Rube Goldberg machines.