Science, Tech, Math › Science The Colors of Sulfur Share Flipboard Email Print Bicho_raro / Getty Images Science Chemistry Periodic Table Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated October 20, 2019 When you get right down to it, most the chemical elements have a ho-hum appearance. Silver. Gray. Silvery-White. Blue-Gray. Metals. Boring. Sulfur is different. The solid is bright yellow. If you melt sulfur, you get a blood-red liquid. If you set it on fire, you get a blue flame. About Sulfur Sulfur is a common element. It's necessary for life, yet some of its compounds are toxic. For example. though you can metabolize a small amount of hydrogen sulfide, it doesn't take much to induce respiratory paralysis, which can lead to death. Though hydrogen sulfide has a distinctive rotten egg odor, the gas also deadens the sense of smell, so you can't gauge exposure using your nose.