Science, Tech, Math › Science 10 Molecules With Funny or Weird Names Share Flipboard Email Print Science Chemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table 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 July 20, 2019 Everything is made up of atoms, which bond together to make molecules. While chemists follow stringent rules in naming compounds, sometimes the name winds up funny or else the original name is so complicated, it's easier to call a molecule by the shape it takes. Here are some of our favorite examples of molecules with funny or downright weird names. 01 of 10 Penguinone Todd Helmenstine You could call this molecule 3,4,4,5-tetramethylcyclohexa-2,5-dien-1-one, but its common name is penguinone. It is a penguin-shaped ketone. Cute, right? 02 of 10 Moronic Acid Edgar181, Wikipedia Commons You can find moronic acid in mistletoe and sumac. It would be moronic to eat mistletoe or poison sumac. Moronic acid is a triterpenoid organic acid that occurs in Pistacia resin, which is found in ancient artifacts and shipwrecks. 03 of 10 Arsole cacycle, Wikipedia Commons Arsole gets its name because it's a ring compound (-ole) based from arsenic. Arsoles are moderately aromatic pyrrole molecules. There is a paper on these compounds: "Studies on the Chemistry of the Arsoles", G. Markland and H. Hauptmann, J. Organomet. Chem., 248 (1983) 269. Can the title of a scientific paper get better than that? 04 of 10 Broken Windowpane Todd Helmenstine The real name of "broken windowpane" is fenestrane, but the structure bears a striking resemblance to a kitchen window after someone has put a broom handle through one of the panes. "Broken windowpane" has been synthesized, although the unbroken form, named "windowpane", only exists on paper. 05 of 10 SEX Todd Helmenstine This one is an acronym for sodium ethyl xanate. That is not a difficult name, as molecules go, but it's much more fun to call this molecule by its initials. There's also a molecule that doesn't exist in nature that looks like the word sex written out. 06 of 10 DEAD Todd Helmenstine DEAD is the acronym for the molecule diethyl azodicarboxylate. In addition to resembling a dead frog opened for dissection in biology class, DEAD can make you dead. It's a shock-sensitive explosive, plus it's toxic and can give you cancer. Fun stuff! 07 of 10 Diurea Todd Helmenstine This one gets its name because it's essentially two urea molecules bonded together, although its proper chemical name is N,N'-dicarbamoylhydrazine. Diurea is used to improve flow in grease and paint and may be spread around crops as a fertilizer. In other words, your house is painted with diurea and the food you eat grew in it. A related compound, ethylene diurea, is used as an antiozonant, which means it helps counteract harmful effects of ozone on crops. 08 of 10 Periodic Acid Todd Helmenstine Here's a molecule with a perfect name for chemistry! Although you might be tempted to pronounce the name periodic, like the periodic table, it's really per-iodic, like what you get when you combine peroxide and iodine. 09 of 10 Megaphone Todd Helmenstine Megaphone is a naturally-occurring compound found in the roots of Aniba megaphylla. It's a ketone, so combining these two facts yields its name. 10 of 10 Angelic Acid Todd Helmenstine Angelic acid is an organic acid that gets its name from the garden flower angelica (Angelica archangelica). The acid was first isolated from this plant. It's found in herbal preparations as a tonic and sedative. Despite its sweet name, angelic acid has a sour taste and a pungent odor.