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Sentient iron filings were intelligent creatures which "breathed" metal and "exhaled" rust.

In the 1970s, three groups of filings came to Earth in a crashed meteorite. It was examined by the Third Doctor and Liz Shaw and taken to a museum, but en route the filings escaped and began corroding metal structures, including a bridge, a café and a chemical plant, causing them to collapse. The Doctor used an anti-corrosive fluid to neutralise the two groups of filings, then traced the third to the crash site, which had attached itself to a plane about to take off with school children aboard. The Doctor arrived in time and used the fluid to end the threat. (COMIC: The Metal Eaters)