Bulk superconductivity has been observed in bismuth when it is cooled to a temperature below 0.53 mK at ambient pressure. The discovery, reported by S Ramakrishnan and colleagues of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, is a surprise because conventional Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer theory cannot explain it. Since the Debye temperature and the Fermi level are comparable in this system, something other than phonon-mediated pairing seems to be required.