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More than ten million compounds of carbon are known.
No other element, except for hydrogen, occurs in even a fraction of that number of compounds.
It occurs in more different forms than any other element in the periodic table.
Buckyball carbon holds the promise for opening a whole new field of chemistry (see accompanying sidebar).
When more finds came to light with what also appeared to be rickets, it was considered far too much of a coincidence and for lack of any other explanation they became relegated to a sub-human category.