Darwinium was accidentally created in the search for stable superheavy elements. Its atomic number is 288, and it has at least fifty isotopes with half-lives of more than a microsecond. That may seem a short duration, but in its brief life it is able to catalyse the combination of ordinary heavy elements to form more darwinium and other superheavy darwinides whose properties vary in many ways, and which can induce each other's transmutation or disintegration. The resulting intense process of natural selection, with upwards of 100,000 generations per second, has resulted in the rapid creation of entirely new forms of matter, faster than human understanding can keep pace with.
Fortunately, it has not yet evolved the ability to digest any of the lighter elements. The few samples in existence have been isolated in aluminium containers, within which the finite resources cause the evolution to eventually peter out. The samples now appear to be quiescent, but there is no known way of destroying them. They have been able to absorb all the high-energy particles we have bombarded them with.
Theoretical calculations suggest that the introduction of as little of 1 gram of the heaviest ordinary elements might allow darwinide to evolve the ability to digest every element down to hydrogen. Some argue that it is our moral duty to release the darwinide so that it may progress to transmute the entire planet and beyond into new life-forms beyond our imagination.