Natural Wonders

Why Does The Metal Explode When it Hits Water?

...And more importantly, why is somebody throwing metal into water?

Picture these scene: It’s a warm summer evening. The slightest of breezes wraps around you. You can smell the heat of the day lingering in the air, filling your lungs with golden, saccharine scent.

The lake before you glistens like a million beautiful diamonds scattered across a green, blue blanket. The velvet tones of Ottis Reading play through your head. You look at Lisa, and nervously ask if she’ll ever leave her husband for you. She says nothing, but the way she slowly looks to the ground, her head hanging mournfully, speaks a thousand words.

And then some arse turns up and wangs a load of Sodium Metal in the river, which instantly explodes several times.

Lisa’s off. The moment’s over. The dream quickly becomes a nightmare.

Now, here at Mpora, we love a bit of science. We loved it when a nutty Norwegian boffin threw himself off a building to prove a theory. We frothed at the gills when we saw a piece of putty absorb a metal cube . We winced in horror as our boss grafted gills onto us. And, by Jimminy, we blummin’ love a red hot nickel ball.

And while the Sodium skimming in the video above certainly warrants some scientific interest, we can’t help but feel it’s kind of shitty. Yes, it’s cool watching sodium explode in water (reason: something something something science), just like it was cool when your science teach showed you when you were in year eight.

But just throwing some in a river. Nah, that’s not for us. At risk of donning our special complaining sandals, there’s life in rivers, be that animals or vegetation. It’s the habitat of all manner of micro-organisms and bio-systems that probably could do without being at the centre of explosions. We’re ruining the planet quite quickly enough, without people throwing lumps of explosive metal around.

In short, more red hot nickel balls. Less dead fish.

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