What does the Moon, St. Peterburg, and vodka have in Common?

 How it all started

“I saw in a dream a table where all elements fell into place as required.

Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper,

only in one place did a correction later seem necessary.”


Dmitrii Mendeleev, as quoted by Inostrantzev
SONY DSCWe all know that Dmitrii Mendeleev created the Periodic Table of Elements. But did you know that in one of his dreams he saw this table fall into place like it’s seen today? When you look at the moon, did you know that on it’s far side that there is a enormous crater named after him? There is also a popular myth that Mendeleev was involved in setting the standard alcohol content in Vodka. Sadly not true, the standard was set when he was 4 years old an age to young to drink. In St. Petersburg where most of his work occurred his name was given to the National Metrology Institute. It establishes and supports national and worldwide standards for precise measurements, At the institute itself there is a monument to him pictured to the right that consists of his sitting statue and a depiction of his periodic table on the wall of the establishment.

What’s most curious

Mendeleev published his periodic table of all known elements and predicted several new elements to complete the table. For his predicted eight elements, he used the prefixes of eka, dvi, and tri (Sanskrit one, two, three) in their naming.


By giving Sanskrit names to his “missing” elements, Mendeleev showed his appreciation and debt to the Sanskrit grammarians of ancient India, who had created sophisticated theories of language based on their discovery of the two-dimensional patterns in basic sounds. Mendeleev was a friend and colleague of the Sanskritist Böhtlingk, who was preparing the second edition of his book on Pāṇini at about this time, and Mendeleev wished to honor him with his nomenclature. Noting that there are striking similarities between the periodic table and the introductory Śiva Sūtras in Pāṇini’s grammar, Prof. Kiparsky says:

“The analogies between the two systems are striking. Just as Panini found that the phonological patterning of sounds in the language is a function of their articulatory properties, so Mendeleev found that the chemical properties of elements are a function of their atomic weights. Like Panini, Mendeleev arrived at his discovery through a search for the “grammar” of the elements…..

Periodic Table

 Because these two analogies are so striking it makes one pause and think, if the table of elements are that similar and one of them is used or was used as a spoken word it might lead one to believe that God intended it this way. Didn’t He speak the world into existence? Something to ponder on.
Lastly like always I will leave you with a short video that share a bit more about Dmitrii Mendeleev life.

4 thoughts on “What does the Moon, St. Peterburg, and vodka have in Common?

  1. I never thought about the similarities between the periodic table and a phonetics chart. Deep! (You can find photos of phonetics tables in google images – the one I liked wouldn’t link.(…

    1. Personally I thought it was fascinating. If the elements and phonetics are that similar think about it really means. Honestly it caught me off guard.

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