Darwinium, or orichalcum in vulgar parlance, is without a shadow of a doubt the most invaluable resource on the surface of the planet. As evidenced by its name, the discovery of its most extraordinary properties is owed to Sir Charles Darwin, who correctly surmised that the queer forms and powers of some animals in the Galapagos Islands were due to the very first (and only) deposit ever found on land.
Nevertheless, it had indeed been known as a precious substance since High Antiquity, as instances of its appearance in funerary and sacred arts are catalogued in details: the mask of Agamemnon and the sarcophagi of Caere, as well as the Athena Parthenos and the Cyprian griffin protomes, are but a few famous examples. In those days, however, its uncanny versatility and transformability had yet to be discovered, and it was merely considered a form of “marine diamond”. In time, however, smiths and artisans came to realise how its properties could change when exposed to heat or acid, for examples.
In the past, it was only found in small quantities in the shallow waters of the seas, but from brilliant minds have sprung forth marvellous technologies that have opened the depths of the world’s oceans, and it is there, in the great watery dark, that are found great veins of crystalline orichalcum.
Today, there is little an intelligent enough scientist cannot create with a reasonable quantity of orichalcum, and the proper combination of electric current and chemical solution.
Therefore, it is no surprise that there are those who find in orichalcum the prima materia of the ancient alchemists, and would call it “quintessence” and “aether”, the primordial building block of all that is in existence. “It contains in itself all colors and potentially all metals; there is nothing more wonderful in the world, for it begets itself, conceives itself, and gives birth to itself”.
In light of such facts, it becomes rather evident that there was substantial merit to Thales’ theory of the first principle.
– Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, excerpt from the Encyclopædia Britannica