What is the craziest chemical element in the periodic table?

Bismuth crystal structure.

The answer is: Bismuth.

Typically, bismuth looks like this:

Looks like a piece of meat wrapped in foil.
Bismuth looks like this.

(It looks like a piece of meat wrapped in foil, right?).

But under certain conditions, it looks like this:

Incredibly sensational cristal.
What an incredibly sensational thing, right?

A perfect crystalline structure.
Crystalline structure.

A perfect crystalline structure. It is worth mentioning that bismuth is toxic and should not be handled frequently.

There are several other curiosities about bismuth:

The bismuth 209 (the most common isotope) is radioactive. But has one of the largest ever calculated half-life: 1.9 x 10¹⁹. Or about a billion times greater than the age of the universe. 

Bismuth is the strongest natural diamagnetic element in existence.

  • Diamagnetic materials, when exposed to magnetic fields, are repelled rather than attracted. 
  • That is: when placed on a sufficiently strong magnet, the bismuth levitates.
  • Bismuth is relatively non-toxic to a heavy metal. 

Its periodic table neighbors, namely, polonium, antimony and lead are super toxic. Bismuth is even being studied to replace lead in some specific materials.

Most people have ingested some amount of bismuth during their lives. One of the ingredients of Pepto-Bismol is bismuth subsalicylate. 

For those who do not know, it is an antacid medication to treat temporary disorders. And discomfort of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, such as heartburn and nausea.