Do you know who these guys were? They were not chemists, and they were not even scientists! These two were the explorers Lewis and Clark. Did you know that the crew of the Lewis and Clark expedition took laxatives containing mercury, and that some of their camp sites have been discovered because of the large deposits of mercury in the soil at the sites?
I learned about this via the first of a series on Slate.com, “Blogging the Periodic Table” by Sam Kean. Kean’s engaging writing covers “many topics—explaining how the table works, relaying stories both funny and tragic, and analyzing current events through the lens of the table and its elements. Above all, I hope to convey the unexpected joys of the most diverse and colorful tool in all of science.” It’s an older blog, but it’s well worth checking out!
Lewis and Clark image is Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.