A man should always have an exit strategy: ours is to become Robocop after we die. And it turns out we’ve all been training for it our entire lives. Your body’s loaded with durable metals that will one day be mined from your remains and used to make foil wrap. Or maybe that’s not an economical plan. All we know is that much like Norway’s music scene, the human body wouldn’t function without metal. And speaking of metal, just like Ozzie at his least sober, you are Iron Man. And his lousy sidekick, Magnesium Boy. Plus eight other heroes thanks to these metals in your body:
Percent of Mass: 0.0001%
Copper is very in demand these days, so don’t let any thieves know you have any inside you, or they may stripmine your cells for it. Assuming you’re a Man Cave writer, you’re a 200-lb. pillar of pure, rippling muscle. That’s enough copper for roughly 1.5 pennies – but only the copper coating (modern pennies are 97.5% zinc).
Percent of Mass: 0.00017%
Occupying a mere portion of your frame, here’s the heavy metal that drove Roman emperors mad and gave centuries of printers headaches and fatigue. Lead is toxic at any dosage, so congratulations! You were born into poisoned madness. And you’ll probably die of a blood clot after marrying your horse. But a more positive way to look at is now you have an excuse to go crazy now and then.
Percent of Mass: 0.00046%
Strontium! That’s something to do with nuclear power! We know you have dreams of firing radioactive blasts from your fingertips, but sadly, naturally occurring strontium is stable. Besides, if everyone could do it, it wouldn’t be a superpower. Sadly, some people do get Strontium-90 (the fission byproduct) in their system, and it takes the express train to their bones. Basically, if Peter Parker had been bitten by a radioactive spider in the real world, he would have died of a horrible cracking bone disease. Not you, though. You’re strong–STRONTIUM strong!
Percent of Mass: 0.00046%
Silicon had enough percentage to take this spot, but we’re not dealing in metalloids, son. Rubidium reacts violently with water, much like demons in an M. Night Shyamalan film. And just as that movie was a really dumb metaphor, this is a really dumb metal for the human body to contain, especially since it’s biologically useless. It gets in by passing itself off as potassium. We’re not sure how why it doesn’t react with all the water in your body, but the answer is probably science or something.
Percent of Mass: 0.0032%
In addition to having the best name that doubles as a sound effect for sharpening a knife, zinc is what keeps you growing. Sadly, you do not contain very many pennies, so you cannot leave yourself in a tray at the Qwik-Mart so a beautiful woman can take you if she needs you.
Percent of Mass: 0.006%
Even at a thousandth of a percent, iron’s prevalent enough in the human body to make a three-inch construction nail. Just don’t try hammering it with your forehead unless you’re brimming with other metals. Here, you’d better drink this vial of strontium just to be safe. THERE’S NO TIME FOR QUESTIONS!
Percent of Mass: 0.05%
Like spark plugs in a car, magnesium is that one little kick that the whole mechanism requires to get moving. Like having DNA? Thank magnesium. It’s the coolest metal: it barely weighs anything, it makes life possible, and it starts fires. Magnesium is just like that absolutely insane girl you dated junior year of high school. (Hi, Danielle!)
Percent of Mass: 0.15%
A 200-lb. human body contains a little under 1/3 lb. of sodium. Whew! That’s a lot of table salt. Or baking soda. Or baking powder. Look, no one’s judging how you ingest your precious metals, even if it is in big, powdery fistfuls, as your dry tongue whips impotently around your desiccated lips. Anyway, the point is, a canister of table salt is usually 737 g, and it takes almost a fifth of that if you intend to cook up a fully functioning clone of yourself. Americans eat almost 50% more sodium than we need each day. Are the world’s millions of death due to hypertension worth the explosive flavor of a perfect steak? Yes. The answer is.
Percent of Mass: 0.25%
Man, one metal left and we’re still at fractions of a percent. Still, a 200-lb man is toting around half a pound in potassium: he must eat a lot of bananas. Who’d have guessed that in our culture of salty cuisine, you’d have more potassium than sodium in your system? The two elements are similar, though. In fact, if you have too much sodium, your doctor will recommend you switch fromt table salt to salt substitute, which, is in fact, no substitute at all, but a different kind of salt that uses potassium instead of sodium.
Percent of Mass: 1.4%
In addition to having one of the coolest electron configurations on the periodic table, calcium is your one-stop element for bone fortification. It’s found in your bones and teeth as hydroxylapatite, with its grizzled partner, phosphoric acid. Their methods are unorthodox, but dammit, they get results, considering they’re the only part of your body that even stands half a chance against physical trauma.
So there you have it! Don’t let anybody ever tell you you’re worthless. You’re nature’s scrap metal shop, baby!