Harvard Health Columns

The Mercury Myth

When I was a kid, mercury was fun. I can recall going to the dentist and being given a thimble-sized blob of mercury in a cup, which I could pick up, push around, spill onto the floor, split into several smaller blobs and watch merge with each other. It was unusual stuff, with a consistency half-way between liquid and solid, and unlike anything else in my experience. It easily kept me occupied until it…

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