The reactivity of the 2D nanosheets of MoS2 with silver ions in solution, leading to their spontaneous morphological and chemical transformations, is reported. This unique reactivity of the nanoscale form of MoS2 was in stark contrast to its bulk counterpart. While the gradual morphological transformation involving several steps has been captured with an electron microscope, precise chemical identification of the species involved was achieved by electron spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The energetics of the system investigated supports the observed chemical transformation. The reaction with mercury and gold ions shows similar and dissimilar reaction products, respectively and points to the stability of the metal-sulphur bond in determining the chemical compositions of the final products. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.