Black Panther (2021), released in 2018, is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character. The movie’s backdrop is thousands of years ago, five African tribes war over a meteorite containing the metal vibranium.” One warrior ingests a “heart-shaped herb” affected by the metal and gains superhuman abilities, becoming the first “Black Panther.” The mythical metal vibranium becomes the lifeblood of the fictional nation of Wakanda. 


Wakanda became an advanced technological country from vibranium. There are remarkable similarities between the mythical metal vibranium and the real-life Iridium, which originated in a meteorite. To pause for a moment, the purpose of this article is not necessarily to rehash the movie Black Panther. Still, from a scientific, ecological, and geopolitical view, the film represents something in the actual sought-after, rare metal used by corporations and powerful nations. 

In the publication Scientific American, Becker (2002) says that Iridium is a scarce metal element not of this world. The highest concentrations are in meteorites and asteroids. Iridium is more expensive than gold. The metal possesses qualities that are desirable for aircraft and spaceships. Iridium is a chemical element with the symbol Ir and an atomic number 77. 

It is one of the most corrosion-resistant metals on the planet. In addition, it can withstand temperatures as high as 3,630 (°F) Fahrenheit. The metal is found in various parts of the world but, interestingly, in higher concentrations in South Africa and the southeastern corridor of Haiti. Vibranium in the movie Black Panther drives and sustains the economy.

Iridium has the potential to revive the economy of Haiti. Haiti has experienced many devastating earthquakes and hurricanes over the last few decades. Geologists and archeologists explain the Alvarez hypothesis that a massive extraterrestrial object’s impact contributed to the dinosaurs’ extinction over 60 million years ago. Still, to this day, Iridium is found in meteorites crashing onto the planet. 

Henry (October 6, 2021) reports that Dr. Henry Vixamar, an economic development specialist posts that Haiti’s Bureau of Mines and Energy determined that the second largest iridium reserves in the world exist in Haiti. South African experts determined their rank in the iridium resource. Henry reports that Haiti’s iridium reserves are located in its Southeast corridor. The iridium metal is quoted as “worth more than gold and Bitcoin” today. 

Although, Iridium has no known power to enable people with superhuman abilities such as Vibranium. Still, it can revive economies if the infrastructures can have the natural resource profits return to the economies. Some economists believe the Haitian economy could be restored by having the Haitian government have control of the resource. The creation of millions of jobs could be essential.

The Narrative Matters!


Becker,L.(2002). “Repeated Blows” (PDF). Scientific American286 (3): 77–83.  sad0302Bekr5p ( 11857903.

Black Panther (2021) Black Panther (film) – Wikipedia

Henry, G. (October 6, 2021). Haiti has the World’s Second Largest Iridium Deposits. Haiti has the World’s Second Largest Iridium Deposits | Haiti Liberte

Iridium (2023). Iridium – Wikipedia
Alverez Hypothesis (2023). Alvarez hypothesis – Wikipedia

Featured image: Cinema Blend

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