What was this molecule?

Driving down the road today I saw this molecule, or more accurately a representation of this molecule, on the side of someone’s car. Just wondering what it was?

Here’s a really terrible sketch of it. I’m not sure if the squiggly bit on the upper left was where I drew it or where the arrow’s pointing; they were driving the other way so I didn’t get a very good look.

Weird Molecule

I already tried Googling it; my first guess was either caffeine or alcohol, but it didn’t seem to be either of those.

Are you sure there were only two carbon rings (those are carbon rings, right? It’s been a long time since high school), it’s awfully close to THC (the active ingrediant in weed).
ETA Here’s MDMA AKA Ecstacy.


Well, I only got a glimpse of it, as I said we were travelling in opposite directions.

It COULD have been THC, but I’m certain that it was in the orientation I drew, with the squiggly bit to the upper left. Does that make a difference, chemically? I’m no expert on these matters, just a dabbling of knowledge. Like that left-right sugar thing, or thalidomide, or some other chemicals, have a specific orientation which is important.

It COULD have been MDMA… I don’t think so, but again, I only got a glimpse. And it would make a certain amount of sense. I am guessing it was some kind of drug.

It wasn’t theobromine; that’s far too complicated a chemical for what I (think) I saw.

Could it be something car-related? Not gasoline, but perhaps a gasoline additive? The car was kinda tricked-out, racing stripes and a number on the door (which is what attracted my attention in the first place.)

Thanks for the responses so far, let’s keep trying? Not that it matters, but this kinda thing bugs me until I get it figured out, ya know? q;}

I looked at Nitrous Oxide, Octane, amphetamine, and a few more and then found my way over to Serotonin which also looks close to what you drew.

Serotonin? Could be… I don’t know for a fact that both the rings I saw were hexagonal, one could have been a pentagon. And I’m only about 90% certain there were two rings; like with the THC molecule, there could have been a third. And there could well have been other lines coming off the ‘rings’, in other directions, I’m not sure.

But what I am 100% positive of is the orientation; two (probably) rings, more or less in the orientation I sketched, with a squiggly bit going off to the upper left.

If you were to flip that molecule along a horizontal axis, then rotate it 180 degrees, you’ve got something remarkably similar to what I think I saw. But then, it wouldn’t be serotonin, would it? I don’t know!

What was the make and model of the car? Was it a [caffeine molecule](http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&sa=N&biw=1406&bih=1024&tbm=isch&tbnid=yeHeZslpdA-r4M:&imgrefurl=http://www.ebay.com/itm/Caffeine-Molecule-Coffee-Graphic-Olive-Drab-Geek-tshirt-/290575609015&docid=2TGNumTcMXYAIM&itg=1&imgurl=http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Caffeine-Molecule-Coffee-Graphic-Olive-Drab-Geek-tshirt-/00/%24(KGrHqQOKiYE2qoF6(YlBNz9)sC4z!~~0_3.JPG&w=800&h=600&ei=fWfmT6vpIYqe8QSvueynAQ&zoom=1)?

The orientation does not matter, just the shape (and what atoms are at each vertex, but we can’t see that from your drawing). From what you have drawn, serotonin looks plausible, or tryptamine, or some structurally related psychotropic drug such as DMT.

What are the arrow and question mark on your diagram supposed to represent?

Make and model? I don’t know; I’m even less of a car guy than I am a chemist! Modernish, sporty, two-door I think.

Wasn’t a caffeine molecule; close, but doesn’t have that squiggly bit.

Serotonin is the closest thing I’ve seen yet, with the exception that the orientation is completely wrong. DMT looks pretty close too, if not closer, with the same caveat.

The question mark indicates that the squiggly bit may have started at that point, rather than where I drew it. But it definitely went up and to the left. Up, and to the left. Up, and to the left. Up, and to… ok I’ll stop now.

And yeah, if I knew what the atoms involved were it would be a great help. But I don’t.

Hmm… if orientation doesn’t matter… Psilocybin could have been it. Flip it on a vertical axis, and I don’t remember seeing the phosphorus bit with all the oxygen and hydrogen. Which doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t (60% certainty?)

To repeat: orientation is irrelevant.

This is what you have drawn

Given the number of things you don’t remember about it, there is no way to say what it really was. It sounds like the sort of thing a graphics design company would come up with for a technology based companies logo. It’s not meaningful, and probably not even chemically accurate.

Ok, so orientation is irrelevant. If so, then tryptamine is awfully close. This really bad sketch shows a comparison of what I (think I) saw to what a flipped tryptamine molecule looks like (forgive the trip/tryp spelling error, please!) The only difference is circled in red. I think we may have a winner here, folks.

Question: Does the red bit matter much? And if the wikipedia article shows it in a certain orientation, why would they put it in a different one on their car? Assuming I’m remembering it correctly of course; I could be wrong.

Thanks folks!

on preview:
Hmm, Napthelene also looks pretty close. Mothballs? That makes less sense than tryptamine or some other drug-related chemical.
And yes, I know there’s almost no useful information in my posts. Next time I’m passing a car going the other direction, and happen to glimpse something interesting, I’ll try to have my camera ready. :smack:

The two molecules at the bottom are different from the one you drew on the top. They are identical to each other, however.
Seriously though, this sounds like a company logo which will have no real chemical analogue. It would be chosen my the marketing group because it looks cool, not because it bears any resemblance to anything useful.

I Googled molecule bumper sticker, and apparently it’s a bigger business than I would ever have thought. I got lot’s of hits on Zazzle of bumperstickers you can buy: Team Dopamine, Think Chocolate and Sleep Better with Melatonin are all contenders. Cafe Press also has a selection.

Maybe search through those sites to see if you can find it.

Specifically, the link given above was to 2-pentyl-napthalene. Just “napthalene” doesn’t have the pentyl “tail” - it’s just two benzene rings. Which illustrates something else you would need to remember correctly - the number of kinks in the tail. “2-ethyl-napthalene” would have a shorter tail and be a different compound.

BTW, what you drew to illustrate the tryptamine shape, lacking the nitrogen atoms is “1-pentyl-napthalene”, which is why WarmNPrickly was pointing out it wasn’t the same thing - the “tail” is at a different point with respect to the joined benzene rings, whichever orientation you choose to draw them in.

Here is a page with diagrams of most of the fun chemicals.

My guess is DMT.