Menger Catalyst Item in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

Menger Catalyst

The Menger Catalyst is an incredibly powerful solid chemical catalyst that appears to violate the known laws of physical geometry.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

The Menger Catalyst appears to be a blue-green Menger sponge, a three-dimensional variant of a Sierpinski carpet, with the object itself only being visible from the Cherenkov glow that surrounds it due to the cleaving of oxygen atoms by the object's infinitely fine edges. Due to it's shape and lack of mass, the object is believed to be a true Menger sponge, meaning that (taken to the most extreme limit) it has an effectively infinite surface area and an effectively zero volume, with light and physical objects only interacting with the object insofar as these do have particles with a physical volume which cannot pass through all the voids.   This unusual geometry grants the Catalyst a number of highly unusual (and dangerous) properties. The corners of the solid appear to be infinitely sharp, meaning that it must be contained in the center of a vessel to avoid any surface it lands on being instantly cut or pierced; luckily, the researchers who accidentally created it have not had need to move it from the original vacuum apparatus in which it was conjured. Because of this sharpness and the object's infinite surface area, the material is an extremely potent catalyst, capable of cleaving all molecular bonds in contact with it. More seriously, as measured levels of radioactivity in the Catalyst's chamber have indicated, the Catalyst can even cleave the interior bonds of atoms themselves.

Manufacturing process

The Menger Catalyst was accidentally "conjured" into the Manifold during an experiment conducted by Voxelia Academy of Sciences researches using a particle accelerator to experimentally search for any previously hidden dimensions in the Manifold. The discovery of the five-dimensional nature of the Manifold - when previously only four dimensions were assumed to have existed - had shaken the confidence of explorers, and the Academy wished not to experience another such "rude surprise."


While the Menger Catalyst has been the subject of much fruitful research, it's ability to liberate prodigious energy from the breakage of molecular and atomic bonds also makes it possibly the most potent known binary explosive component to have ever been developed within the manifold, with the blast and radiation that would come from exposing it to a fission fuel perhaps capable of eradicating life from the Manifold altogether. A growing number of researchers have speculated that the theft of the Catalyst by The Garbage Man indicates that this enigmatic individual, violent as he has been in all interactions with humanoids, may be planning on using the Catalyst in precisely this matter, prompting even the most strident of enemy factions to send agents to work together on recovering the Catalyst at all costs.
Item type
Unique Artifact
Current Holder
The Menger Catalyst is unique, having only been created in a single, small batch for fear of the reactions it's anomalous properties could cause.
Approximately 0.5 cubic meters

Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth


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