Cold is the new hot

Photo: Ruby Hogg
Photo: Ruby Hogg

by LAURA KEIL

A few locals found a great way to liven up a cold winter’s day.

Tamey Wood, Kristina Alma and Ruby Hogg set out to the marsh to do a little chemistry.

Wood says her boyfriend’s mom inspired her with the idea.

“Everyone dreads cold snaps, so we figured we would do something fun and creative instead of hiding in the house.”

She says they brought a Coleman camping stove down to the marsh with a kettle and lots of water.

She had read online that it needs to be at least -20C. After that, you just need a narrow-mouth thermos and boiling water.

“Throw it into the air and it immediately freezes,” Wood says. “Sometimes water hits your face, but it’s only lukewarm by the time it falls onto you.”

She says they had a few trial runs before getting a perfect circle, but it’s really not as hard as it looks.

“You just throw the water into the air in a circular motion and try not to be afraid of the water because it shouldn’t burn you.”

That said, throwing boiling water has resulted

Photo: Ruby Hogg
Photo: Ruby Hogg

in injuries– if you’re trying this at home, be cautious and protect yourself.

So why does water create this amazing effect?

According to one chemist, hot water is so close to being steam that the act of throwing it into the air causes it to break up into tiny droplets (hot water is less viscous than cold water). The small water droplets have a large surface area which allows for evaporation which removes heat quickly. The cooled droplets are so small that they can be easily frozen by the winter air. Cold water is thicker and stickier and doesn’t break up into such small pieces when thrown into the air, so it comes down in large blobs.

Hogg, the photographer, used a shutter speed of 1/500, aperture 7.1, ISO 100.

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