National Geographic : 1942 Apr
460 The National Geographic Magazine Staff Photographer Willard R. Culver Beryllium, the Wonder Metal, Lies Hidden in These Six-sided Stones Whether they weigh a few ounces or a ton, beryl crystals are always hexagonal, just as Nature gave oak or maple leaves a characteristic shape. The metal extracted from these crystals-poor relations of the precious emerald-plays an important part in modern war (pages 457 and opposite). Staff Photographer Willard R. Culver Burning Magnesium Flares into Fury When Hit by a Stream of Water How not to attack an incendiary bomb is demonstrated to the National Geographic Society air-raid wardens by Lieutenant Commander John P. Wetherill 3d, U. S . N. R. A jet of water makes the brightly burning metal explode, hurling forth a vicious fireworks display of white-hot magnesium. Water should be used only as spray, which causes the bomb to consume itself quickly but without explosion.