Bromine’s name comes from the greek word for ‘stench’, bromos.
Knowing that, it probably won’t come as a big surprise to learn that bromine is a bit smelly.
At room temperature, bromine is a reddy-brown liquid.
Bromine was discovered by two different scientists within a year of each other. Carl Löwig found it in a mineral water spring in 1825, and Antoine Balard found it lurking in the ash of seaweed in 1826.
You don’t want to get too close to bromine if you can avoid it! If you get it on your skin it can cause bad burns, and the fumes that it gives off are bad for your ear, throat and eyes.
It’s not all bad though, bromine can be quite useful. People used to use chemicals with bromine in them as sedatives: which are given to people to make them feel relaxed and sleepy.
These days, chemicals with bromine in them are used as fire retardants: which stop things setting on fire.