‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’: Here’s What Orichalcum Is & Why It’s Important


The storyline of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ involves a lot of different subplots, including the never-ending problem regarding the actions of the surface world and their effects on the people of Atlantis. At the center of it all is a substance called orichalcum, which was the very thing that led to the greater conflict in the events of this movie, especially when it was used centuries ago. So, what is orichalcum, and why is it so important?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Throughout the movie, Black Manta raids Atlantean storage facilities to steal orichalcum, which is a substance that fuels the ancient technology that he uses.
  • But Manta mainly used orichalcum to fuel his refinery and unleash greenhouse gasses that heat the earth’s surface, causing the ice caps of Antarctica to melt so that he could unseal the Lost Kingdom of Necrus.
  • In the past, King Kordax used orichalcum to power Necrus but ended up going to war and getting defeated by King Atlan.

Black Manta’s goals

It goes without saying that Black Manta always hated Aquaman. This was made clear when Arthur Curry indirectly caused the death of David Kane’s father, turning Black Manta into a villain hellbent on taking revenge on Aquaman. He used a power suit in the first movie to try to kill the heroic Atlantean, but the suit was destroyed.

So, in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ David Kane dedicated his resources to finding Atlantean technology in Antarctica so that he could fix his power suit. Instead, what he found there was a lost civilization.


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A black trident in that sunken and frozen kingdom spoke to him so that they could form a pact. The entity speaking through the black trident promised to give Manta the power he needed to take his revenge on Aquaman in exchange for releasing him.

In the next five months, Black Manta’s actions were guided by the voice from the trident. This allowed him to get his hands on ancient technologies that allowed him and his men to actually give Atlanteans trouble. The same technology was powered by a substance called orichalcum, which was one of the reasons why Kane was raiding different Atlantean storage facilities throughout the world.

Orichalcum is a green substance that the Atlanteans kept hidden in storage facilities. Kane’s initial goal was to get his hands on as much orichalcum as possible because he needed it for the grander goal that he had in mind. 

Orichalcum is powerful but dangerous

The reason why Kane wanted to get his hands on orichalcum was related to the fact that this substance was incredibly volatile and dangerous. It may be true that orichalcum could be used as a power source, but the problem was that using it would unleash heavy amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

During the earlier part of the movie, the council of clans called for a meeting involving a plague that had been killing a lot of Atlanteans. In the last five months, the earth’s atmosphere has been heating up at an unprecedented pace, and the increasing heat and pollutants have been causing Atlanteans to get sick. This plague was one of the reasons why the council wanted to actually go to war with the surface and even strip Arthur of his executive powers as king of Atlantis.


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But the truth was that the increasing heat levels and higher levels of pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere were caused by David Kane’s use of orichalcum. He wanted to get his hands on as much orichalcum as possible so that he could burn them all in a refinery and increase the heat level of the earth’s atmosphere.

In doing so, he affected and killed the Atlanteans. But the most important reason why he wanted to heat the earth’s atmosphere was so that he could melt the ice caps over at Antarctica. This was due to the fact that the entity that spoke to him through the trident was trapped in the ice of Antarctica.

Necrus’ downfall was due to orichalcum

It turned out that the entity that spoke to Kane through the black trident was King Kordax, the ruler of the Lost City of Necrus. Orm saw this in a vision when he touched the black trident during his duel with Black Manta.

In the past, Necrus was a thriving kingdom under the leadership of Kordax, the brother of King Atlan. However, Kordax blindly used orichalcum to turn Necrus into a powerful kingdom. Necrus thrived at the cost of polluting the atmosphere.

Atlan couldn’t turn a blind eye to this anymore and confronted his brother regarding his use of orichalcum. But Kordax thought that Atlan was only jealous of Necrus’ glory and was looking to take the orichalcum for himself so that he could use it. This caused Kordax to go mad as he crafted the black trident and used its power to turn himself and the people of Necrus into mindless monsters.

Kordax used his army of monsters to go to war with Atlan and the Atlanteans. Atlan prevailed and decided to seal Necrus in ice. He used a powerful spell to seal Kordax using his own blood so that the evil king would no longer wreak havoc on the world.

So, basically, Kordax wanted Manta to use the orichalcum to heat the planet’s atmosphere and melt the ice that trapped Necrus and the many different monsters living there. Orichalcum was basically a means to an end for both Manta and Kordax so that they could exact their revenge on Atlantis.

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