I saw this arcticle on popular science's web site: http://www.popsci.com/popsci/how2/article/0,20967,693558,00.html [Broken] it tells about a way using mercury paste to make aluminum rust, very fast and crumble to dust. as you can see in their picture, it apearently is true, and as they explain in the article, the mercury infiltrates the metal and disrupts its protective coating of aluminum oxide, allowing it to oxidize much more compleatly then normal, because its protective barrier is gone. if you look at the "rust" around the base of the aluminum bar they destroyed, it looks dark brown or black, which seems odd to me, considering aluminum oxide is while, mercury is silver, and aluminum is silvery. aluminum oxide is extreamly stable and wouldnt want to normally react with the mercury, so why is all that stuff brown? mercury oxides are that color (HgO is yellow or red and Hg2O is black) but why would the mercury be reacting with anything in this instance?