Tellurium is a chemical element with symbol Te and atomic number 52. It is a brittle, mildly toxic, rare, silver-white metalloid. Tellurium is chemically related to selenium and sulfur. It is occasionally found in native form as elemental crystals. Tellurium is far more common in the universe as a whole than on Earth. Its extreme rarity in the Earth’s crust, comparable to that of platinum, is due partly to its high atomic number, but also to its formation of a volatile hydride which caused it to be lost to space as a gas during the hot nebular formation of the planet.