If you still have any doubts about the benefits of wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, this video from The Slow-Mo Guys and special guest Dr. Anthony Fauci should set you straight. The number of droplets that go flying when speaking without a mask on is particularly illuminating.
THE BEST Experiments
Artist and museum exhibit designer Shawn Lani has built a machine that circulates dry ice into a shallow tub of water, resulting in captivating cloud-like motion as the frozen carbon dioxide melts. His Icy Bodies exhibit can be found in a number of science museums around the world.
While it’s far from a comprehensive test, and they only tested for compressive strength, it’s still fun to see what happens to different types of tree trunks when they’re crushed in a powerful hydraulic press. Which kind of wood do you think will be the most durable?
The Backyard Scientist has a penchant for dangerous, yet impressive experiments. In this clip, he takes to his swimming pool with a contraption that’s designed to blow perfect bubble rings, but instead of just filling them with oxygen, he introduces some propane, so when hit with an electric charge, they explode.
There are numerous articles out there on how to make a messy concoction called elephant toothpaste. Engineer Mark Rober has even filled a swimming pool with the stuff. Now, he’s made something far more reactive and explosive, dubbed “devil’s toothpaste.” He then supersized the experiment for a very special fan.
Inspired by the time-bending antics of Christopher Nolan movies like Tenet, Gav of The Slow Mo Guys shows up in a room where a bunch of things have already been destroyed, and attempts to clean up the mess by doing everything in reverse. That elephant toothpaste stuff never gets old.
The Stretch Armstrong toy was engineered to be stretched as much as possible, though we’re pretty sure they never intended for it to do this. Watch as the guys from The King of Random cut off his head, then pump him with 25 gallons of water. On the second go-round, they removed the sticky goo inside to improve their results.
An excellent MLB pitcher can throw a 100 mph fastball. But what would it take to pitch a ball faster than the speed of sound? Destin from Smarter Every Day set out to answer that question, and enlisted his engineering pals to build a high-pressure cannon that can launch a ball so fast that it explodes on contact.
Warped Perception enjoys seeing how things look in slow-motion. He recently got the idea to launch a model rocket from inside of an aquarium, letting us see how it behaves both in and out of the water. We love the way its exhaust plume changes as it breaks the surface of the water.
Physics can be so much fun. The Lutetium Project shows how a dropper filled with a mixture of water, alcohol, and dye dripped into an oil bath can create beautiful and unexpected patterns thanks to their differences in surface tension. For more droplet fun, check this out.
After an earlier experiment with trying to get sharks to swarm into human blood, Engineer Mark Rober teamed up with Discovery’s Shark Week to build a single-person shark cage, and headed into the waters of the Bahamas to see if he could get a feeding frenzy going around him using fish blood instead.
Back in the 1980s, hairdresser and inventor Maurice Ward came up with a substance that was apparently incredibly resistant to heat and fire. NightHawkinLight explores the history of the material known as Starlite, what happened to it, and then makes his own version of the compound.
Perhaps on a mission to one-up the MythBusters, the guys at Demolition Ranch customized the barrel of a rifle to see what would happen if it were bent all the way back towards the shooter. Will it shoot backwards? Will it destroy the gun? Or will the bullet get stuck? The answer starts around the 13:21 mark.
Due to the global pandemic, The Slow Mo Guys are still stuck an ocean apart, so today’s clip features a solo experiment conducted by Gav, who has the duo’s high-speed cameras in his possession. Sit back and enjoy some slow-motion footage of molten thermite being poured into an aquarium filled with water.
Most fire is orange, or maybe shades of yellow, white or blue. But it turns out if you spray sodium salts and ethanol into a flame and then view it in front of a sodium vapor lamp, it looks black. Natasha Simons of The Royal Institution explains the science behind this phenomenon.
Licorice candies like Twizzlers and Red Vines look like rope, but is it possible to actually use them to pull things? Louis Weisz and his friend Jeffrey Ziskind conducted a series of experiments to see if they could weave together a bunch of the candy into a rope that could bear weight and even tow a car.
Real laser beams don’t behave like they do in science fiction. Instead of firing in short blasts, they appear as a single coherent beam of light. The Action Lab shows a simple way to achieve the sci-fi effect in camera using a spinning fan blade and by taking advantage of a digital camera’s rolling shutter effect.
Jens of macro photography channel Another Perspective shares time-lapse footage of a soap bubble he says lasted 10 hours, then explains how he did it. The trick to keeping it alive so long involves the proper mix of water, soap, and glycerine, along with a little heat to keep it moving.
BeamNG.drive is known for its ability to simulate vehicle dynamics and crashes with impressive accuracy. In addition to weather conditions, it can also replicate gravitational forces. In this clip from The Action Lab, he shows off what might happen if you tried to drive a pickup truck on the Moon, Jupiter, and even the Sun.
Lauri and Anni of Hydraulic Press Channel fame dropped by the X-ray laboratory at the University of Helsinki to see what objects look like when crushed in front of an X-ray camera. With the help of scientist Samuli Siltanen, they were able to capture some very unique images. We’d love to see some more complicated objects.
You’d think it would be pretty difficult to get a 110-pound iron anvil to float on top of a liquid, but it’s definitely possible with the right substance. In this clip from Cody’s Lab, he shows how a tub filled with shiny liquid mercury does the trick. The much higher density of the mercury is why this experiment works.
There’s a lot of stuff that happens to Marty and Doc in Back to the Future, from being blown away by a giant amplifier, to acting as a conductor for a lightning bolt. Jake Roper of Vsauce3 decided to find out if it would be remotely possible to live through all that in this episode of Could You Survive the Movies?
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