Magic metals are a mainstay of the Marvel universe. One can not forget the adamantium that was bonded into Wolverine’s bones in the three movies that have dealt with the clawed superhero. The 2017 movie Black Panther takes us into the mythical lands of Wakanda that contain vast deposits of vibranium, the source of much of the Panther’s magical powers. However, both these magic metals are terrestrial. The substance that makes up Thor’s magic hammer Mjolnir – uru – can not be found on Earth and has more myth to it than others. Here are some obscure facts about uru that you might not have known before:

1. Uru is found on a different planet

It can only be obtained on the planet Nidavellir. In Norse myth, the planet represents low or dark fields. In MCU, it is a ringed structure that was built around a dying star. However, in the comics, it is one of the nine realms that make up the world tree. Uru is supposed to contain all kinds of precious gem and stones and it is where Thor’s hammer and the new arm was crafted. Nidavellir was first introduced in the Journey into Mystery # 103. It is exploited for its resources by dwarves from Asgardia.

2. Uru is like metallic hydrogen

Sometimes, things imagined in comics end up finding a place in the real world. Iron Man’s armored suit bear strong resemblance to the exo-skeleton armor invented by a Russian inventor as far back as 1890. Something like that is also true for uru, which if we go by its properties, resembles the elusive metallic hydrogen. Metallic hydrogen is light just like uru, and is theorised to compose the cores of planets like Jupiter as well as old stars. However, unlike uru, no one in the real world has ever detected uru so in some ways it is more elusive than the mythical element of Thor’s hammer.

3. Where does the name uru come from?

The characters Thor, Odin as well as the empire of Asgardia are not just Marvel creations but also have centuries of existence in the Norse mythology. However, the hammer Mjolnir does not come from the Norse myths. Instead, it was invented by creator Stan Lee’s brother Larry Lieber. In the early versions, the hammer was called Uru Hammer but was corrected by Roy Thomas. However, they decided to keep the name to describe the material forged in the heart of a dying star that makes up the hammer.

4. Strength of Uru

To truly understand the strength of uru, one should look to the father of Thor and the ruler of Asgardia Odin. A long time ago, there was a storm that was destroying system after system in the universe. The storm was called Mother of Thunder or God Tempest. When the storm, which by then had assumed the size of a galaxy, came to Asgardia, Odin fought it for days and was able to trap it in the uru metal. The saying goes that strength of metal also comes from Odin’s spells that
keep Mother Thunder in the uru metal.

5. The Asgardians have plenty of uru weapons

Asgardia is an old place, but you would not find any spaceships or other travel options there. People from Asgardia have been travelling the cosmos using weapons forged out of uru metal. Odin has enchanted a number of them, including the Odinsword and a spear called Gungnir. The mighty Heimdall who sees everything also carries an uru weapon. Actually, Thor didn’t always have a hammer. Before he was crowned prince and given the hammer Mjolnir, he used have the weapon Jarnbjorn that was also constructed out of uru.

6. Where are uru metals made?

Uru can not be forged in the regular fires but needs much hotter temperatures, ones equalling the heart of a dying star. This you would know if you have seen the new Avengers movie, where Thor makes uru weapon Stormbreaker with the heat of a dying star. In Asgardia, the dwarves have constructed special forges in underground caves where they forge all the uru weapons.

7. Iron Man in the Uru suit

In the fantastic Fear Itself crossover edition of 2011, Odin’s brother Cul builds a powerful army of villains who each carry an uru weapon. The weapons are summoned from Asgardia by the Red Skull’s daughter, and heroes and villains One of them destroys Captain America’s shield. In desperation, it is left to Tony Stark to travel to Asgardia to ask Odin to bless the Avengers’ uru weapons. The most awe-inspiring moment is when Iron Man’s suit is changed to one made of uru metal. While the Avengers’ are able to defeat the forces of Cul, Odin forces everyone towards the end to return their weapons. Only the Red She-Hulk does not as she takes off with her sword.

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