Water is special – it can exist as a liquid, a gas, and a solid at the same time.
Click start to play today’s Spell It, where you can find “snow”, one of water’s many forms.
Especially during the winter, social media is flooded with videos of water behaving in strange, wonderful ways that have us rivetted. Here are a few viral social media moments involving water, explained:
1. Boiling water transforms into snow
In 2014, a viral video of a man in Ontario, Canada, showed him shooting steam from a water gun at -41 degrees Celsius. The hot water instantly condensed into ice crystals on being released from the gun. According to a January 2018 report in National Geographic, this happens because of water’s ability to exist in three states (solid, liquid, gas) – known as the triple point – at the same time. This happens when temperatures reach 0.01 degrees Celsius. When water is boiled, extra energy is added to its liquid state, which moves the molecules further away from each other. When exposed to cold air, which cannot hold as much water vapour as warmer air, the water immediately condenses, and freezes into ice crystals.
2. Frozen soap bubbles
When water molecules get trapped between two layers of soap molecules, and it’s cold outside, the water tends to freeze before the soap bubble pops. Once the water gains a more solid shape, the air inside the bubble starts to expand. According to National Geographic, the colder the temperature, the longer these kinds of bubbles are able to retain their beautiful shape and form.
In extremely cold temperatures, like the kind you find in the Arctic, water vapour in the air instantly freezes and creates something called an ice fog. The phenomenon is known as riming, and requires temperatures to fall extremely low. When this happens, even your eyelashes can freeze together!