One Town, Four Elements: Ytterby

  • Published on Feb 27, 2017
  • Yttrium, terbium, erbium and ytterbium were all named after one small town on the Stockholm archipelago. But it could have been different, and there could have been many other names. From a snowy bit of Sweden, and a mine that's a historical landmark, let's talk about discovery, chemists, and a man named Gadolin.
    Thanks to Paul (@cr3) on camera, and to @de_isja, @Ekkelos, @chemician and Chris Armstrong for proofreading the chemistry in the script!
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Comments • 483

  • Teemu Leppä
    Teemu Leppä 2 hours ago

    im just mindblown that you just find out these small but golden information nuggets somwhow =)

  • lLixensl
    lLixensl 3 months ago

    Tony Stark prefers *BADASSIUM*

  • HaleyHalcyon - Gaming Channel

    And my entire country of Japan has just one!

  • Oscar Arfwedson
    Oscar Arfwedson 4 months ago

    I literally live in the town!

    • Ilan Smolders
      Ilan Smolders Month ago

      How do you LITERALLY live there, or rather, how would you NOT literally live there?

  • Neurotic Sos
    Neurotic Sos 7 months ago

    4 elements I've never heard of though

  • Oliver Berndtsson
    Oliver Berndtsson 8 months ago

    Hmm I live 20min away, time to visit that mine I guess (y)

  • Anthon
    Anthon 10 months ago

    Watching this from the Ytterby mine!

  • N Albertsson
    N Albertsson 10 months ago

    *You just made those elements up! - It's not big or clever to troll people with chemistry, you know!*

  • MarcusBurkenhare
    MarcusBurkenhare Year ago

    Am I alone in thinking Ytterby sounds like it should be in Yorkshire rather than Sweden?

  • Findecanor
    Findecanor Year ago

    I visited that mine today. What you see here is literally all that's left of it.
    Where he starts walking used to be a deep mine-shaft but it was roofed in the 1950s when it was converted to house ship's fuel.

  • SebbeF
    SebbeF Year ago

    I kind of hoped this was the Ytterby in my region but this was on the opposite side of the country, what a bummer! :(

  • jogiff
    jogiff Year ago

    Lawrence Livermore Labs and its affiliated university UC Berkeley have four elements named after them (collectively): Lawrencium 103, Livermorium 116, Californium 98, and Berkelium 97. And UC Berkeley is known as Cal, so maybe we could add calcium 20?

  • Joe King
    Joe King Year ago

    Well hey, we at least still have Americium 🇺🇸

  • Audrey Hollenbaugh

    We're doing projects on any element we want at school and I'm picking yttrium because of this video

  • NoiLeafGreen
    NoiLeafGreen Year ago +4

    Fun fact: Ytterby directly translates to "Outer Village"

  • Gaurav Rao
    Gaurav Rao Year ago

    What about Berkeley? Lawrencium, Berkelium, Californium, and Americium were named after the Lab, City, State, and Country they were developed in (all by Berkeley teams)

  • Tyler Ruden
    Tyler Ruden Year ago

    Why do you only wear red shirts? Even under the sweatshirt

  • Ranjit
    Ranjit Year ago

    Unfortunately science doesn’t work like that anymore if you go against powerful people you will be shut down.

  • Dan B 0809
    Dan B 0809 Year ago

    500th comment

  • starlight 85
    starlight 85 Year ago

    your voice is so amazing i could listen to you all day.

  • David Andrews
    David Andrews Year ago

    Hate to do this to you, Tom, but the town isn't called /iterbi/; the 'y' in Swedish and Finnish is more like the 'ü' in German. It is a vowel only in the Nordic languages, rather than having the fairly mixed status it has in English.

  • brianartillery
    brianartillery Year ago

    And Gadolin had the element 'Gadolinium' named after him. Odd that there isn't a 'Lavoisinium' though.

  • TheHeroOfTheStory

    I was hoping the town was the home of the Avatar or something. But still neat! :)

  • Milomand99
    Milomand99 2 years ago

    red shirt

  • Svart Röd
    Svart Röd 2 years ago

    Tom Scott's Scandinavian Adventures Part 53247

  • Philip Balfour
    Philip Balfour 2 years ago

    "Or taste it."

  • cerberus144
    cerberus144 2 years ago

    That's amazing, where I'm from only has two Elements I can think of. Californium and Berkelium, After California and the city Berkeley in California.

  • The Red Soldier
    The Red Soldier 2 years ago

    The sequel to 2 Girls, 1 Cup

  • Why Satan
    Why Satan 2 years ago

    British Tim Allen is that you?

  • UltimateGeek
    UltimateGeek 2 years ago

    never thought you'd ever visit my home country

  • Red Rax - Max Meyer
    Red Rax - Max Meyer 2 years ago

    I knew about this from a talk Randall Monroe, creator of xkcd, gave about his book, Thing Explainer. It also mentions this fact in the book

  • Wilm hill
    Wilm hill 2 years ago

    I live in ytterby. Why could you not tell me you were coming. I could give you some tea.

  • Leo Trollstoy
    Leo Trollstoy 2 years ago

    I want you to make a documentary

  • Doige
    Doige 2 years ago +2

    Do you think Only Connect looks to prior contestants for questions?

  • Holgast
    Holgast 2 years ago +2

    Hi Tom! Where can I read that paper about 'Supposed New Elements - Two Centuries of Errors'?

  • Jim Willis
    Jim Willis 2 years ago

    thanks for adding proper captions for the Deaf. I enjoy watching :)

  • Samuel Li
    Samuel Li 2 years ago

    What's with 50fps?

    • Creepyslacker boy
      Creepyslacker boy Year ago

      Samuel Li So lights don't flicker when he is under street lamps almost anywhere except the US.

  • Alex00712
    Alex00712 2 years ago

    En tätort, fyra grundämnen: Ytterby

  • Skroot
    Skroot 2 years ago

    Being a swede, it's nice to get educated about my stuff in my own country. :) I had no idea!

  • Raphael Fua
    Raphael Fua 2 years ago

    not a single cut... well done! it gives a very enjoyable rythm to the video

  • Firstname Lastname
    Firstname Lastname 2 years ago

    50hz is really trippy

  • Natacha Ségala
    Natacha Ségala 2 years ago

    Jag älskar Sverige så mycket! Such a good excuse to visit Ytterby.

  • rccarmadben
    rccarmadben 2 years ago

    Would have been helpful to tell us what those elements do

  • Klapaucius Fitzpatrick

    Your diction has become better. Congratulations, you're becoming an excellent storyteller

  • xylene
    xylene 2 years ago

  • Dwardom8k
    Dwardom8k 2 years ago

    Not trying to be a thorn, but you don't put a voltage "through" an object. Voltage refers to a difference in electric potential across two points. You have a voltage across a resistor, for instance, and an electrical current through it. However, excellent video as always, Tom Scott!

  • Kenajcrap
    Kenajcrap 2 years ago

    Hey Tom! how was your break? I hope you had fun!
    Have you heard of this vulnerability on CloudFlare DNS service? They are calling it "CloudBleed" It affected a lot of big sites like and Your explanations are always the best for this type of topic, so I would love to see it in a video some day :)

  • iko
    iko 2 years ago

    Awesome, I didn't know this and I'm a Swede.

  • Gingerninja800
    Gingerninja800 2 years ago

    dat framerate though

  • MaxPower
    MaxPower 2 years ago

    Couldn't they have named at least one or two of the elements after some of the people involved, or the town drunk, or something? ^^

  • J W
    J W 2 years ago

    Fantastic video :) Truly fascinating!

  • Roan Kattouw
    Roan Kattouw 2 years ago

    And the runner-up is... the East Bay region in Northern California :) with californium, berkelium and livermorium

  • hglasier
    hglasier 2 years ago

    You might enjoy the UK discovery of manaccanite in Cornwall.

  • Andreas Gu
    Andreas Gu 2 years ago

    gooo swiideen

  • Haziq
    Haziq 2 years ago

    this guy is cute

  • Jung Voon
    Jung Voon 2 years ago

    USA's a close runner up with 3, Californium, Americium and Berkelium

  • Amy Ruth
    Amy Ruth 2 years ago

    My friend has raves

  • Tomek
    Tomek 2 years ago

    I'm impressed with Paul's walking backwards over all those rocks!

  • Attack Helicopter
    Attack Helicopter 2 years ago

    I wanted to make a chemistry joke but there was no reaction.

  • Matthew Haas
    Matthew Haas 2 years ago

    Love this series!

  • Charles Gregory
    Charles Gregory 2 years ago

    Technically, isn't there also a single place where Lutetium, Gallium, Francium and Europium are named after?

    GAME OF BLURZ 2 years ago

    I never heard about those elements. Thanks!

  • Simon
    Simon 2 years ago

    Five more elements were discovered there, though they weren't named after the village: scandium, tantalum, holmium, thulium and gadolinium.

  • Lorenz Zahn
    Lorenz Zahn 2 years ago

    I remember hearing of this in a lecture. They were a pain to separate at the time.

  • Manuel Novak
    Manuel Novak 2 years ago

    this is always so entertaining. please keep it up! love it!

  • Simon Vetter
    Simon Vetter 2 years ago

    I live in the runner-up to this place, which has three elements describing its location: Darmstadtium (after the city), Hassium (the state), and Germanium (country).

  • Jonah Hopkin
    Jonah Hopkin 2 years ago +7

    "I'm sure that this is a nice town, but come on."
    -Randall Munroe, 'Thing Explainer'

  • 5c4v3ng3r
    5c4v3ng3r 2 years ago

    research FLAT EARTH

  • Alan Tutorial
    Alan Tutorial 2 years ago

    #29 on trending

  • Mike Grace
    Mike Grace 2 years ago


  • The Sweep
    The Sweep 2 years ago

    Did you use youtube stabilization for this video? i started to feel sick watching it...

  • Alex Csar
    Alex Csar 2 years ago

    So it's safe to say that #lastnightinsweden a bunch of scientists were feeling a bit smug...

  • BetterDaysIndustries
    BetterDaysIndustries 2 years ago

    Dude honestly your videos are sooo good. Thank you for taking the time to memorize your presentations too. Shows dedication and helps meh focus on what you are saying. I hope you prosper and become the teacher in our kid's future holographic classes.

  • mPky1
    mPky1 2 years ago

    How far out of town is that mine ?

  • LexieAssassin
    LexieAssassin 2 years ago

    You forgot something...
    "...and that's something you might not have known."

  • iabervon
    iabervon 2 years ago

    You're too late with this video; the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research has kind of caught up with 4 elements as well, although they varied the granularity around the spot. Still, it's a researcher, his lab, the town, and the oblast. The University of California Radiation Lab also kind of has 4, with a researcher, the town, the state, and the country, although Seaborgium was just in honor of Seaborg, not because he actually worked on discovering it.
    Of course, Ytterby would get a fifth if you include the classical name for the region.

  • scream
    scream 2 years ago

    Why is it that 1080p 50fps looks the same as 4k 30fps to me?

  • William Esposito
    William Esposito 2 years ago

    Yes, science.

  • MiauxCatterie
    MiauxCatterie 2 years ago

    this was a really cool video, thanks for the information.

  • Larry McCabe
    Larry McCabe 2 years ago

    Only place with 4 elements named after it? How about berkelium, californium, lawrencium, americium; all discovered at Lawrence Berkeley lab in California, America?

  • Pook365
    Pook365 2 years ago +3

    "ASM International has designated Ytterby mine an historic landmark"
    ...mine as a historic landmark.
    I'd not have said anything as it's in Sweden after all, but ASM International is based in the USA and that's a properly made sign.

  • smaster7772
    smaster7772 2 years ago +1

    beautiful shot!

  • adam carr
    adam carr 2 years ago

    The town of four elements, The avatar must live there .

  • Ardin Catish
    Ardin Catish 2 years ago

    I really like Tom's videos. The whole showing the location, variety, etc. are super nice!

  • teslaTrooper
    teslaTrooper 2 years ago

    I like the higher resolution and framerate but this type of camera movement is really anonying at the higher framerate for some reason. Maybe get some kind of steadying or gimbal setup for this type of walking videos?

  • David W. Smith
    David W. Smith 2 years ago

    Forgot to mention Gadolin was named after too!

  • Mateo Ramirez
    Mateo Ramirez 2 years ago

    FAKE, there is no such thing as elements or anything on the periodic table. everything is a computer simulation created by the New World Order. its all a cover up. FAKE

  • Camando
    Camando 2 years ago

    1440p at 50fps is highly appreciated

  • Jordan Mandel
    Jordan Mandel 2 years ago

    1:09 is the best part.

  • Dave Heys
    Dave Heys 2 years ago

    Cool video, bro

  • woodfur00
    woodfur00 2 years ago

    Cobalt oxygen lithium oxygen. Tungsten holmium potassium neon tungsten?

  • Peter Börjesson
    Peter Börjesson 2 years ago +8

    this mine is an hour drive from my home and before this video i had no idea it even existed. mind blown!

  • Shalimar Lake
    Shalimar Lake 2 years ago

    Apparently you're #37 trending atm? Nice!

  • SchmuzzyHead
    SchmuzzyHead 2 years ago +9

    This ones a bit elementary

  • johnny chang
    johnny chang 2 years ago

    Does the modern definition of an element in chemistry include the features of being indivisible by normal physical conditions and being able to be isolated from other elements? If someone could create a container to storage light indefinitely, would it count as an element a per the ancient definition instead of a medium by which energy made transition in between?

  • Charlie Clumsy
    Charlie Clumsy 2 years ago

    You can't wear a red T-shirt in Sweden apparently.
    Anyway, I'll invite you for a traditional Swedish dinner if you come to Örebro.

  • mpye
    mpye 2 years ago

    so what is thor's hammer made of?

  • tonxeyboyfatlatte
    tonxeyboyfatlatte 2 years ago

    Yttrium! My favourite. Had the damn stuff injected into my knee twice.

  • ianj1828
    ianj1828 2 years ago +4

    As a Metallurgist, this is awesome. I play with some of those elements almost daily.

  • SweetHandsPlayz // SweetHandsVlogs

    I got ytterbium for a science project