Thursday, February 10, 2011
Banana hammers, bouncing bubbles: Winter experiments

From freezing bubbles to banana hammers, two iReporters in Montevideo, Minnesota, have impressed us with their cold-weather science experiments. Angie Steinbach and Holly Sherod, friends and coworkers at the Montevideo Area Chamber of Commerce, have been surfing the internet to find different experiments they can attempt in the snowy conditions and freezing temperatures. Over the past several days they have experienced temperatures between -20 and -30 degrees with even colder wind chills, but have still braved the elements in the name of science.



In one of Steinbach and Sherod’'s latest experiments, they placed a rotten banana outside in -18-degree temperatures for an hour to reach optimal hammering temperatures. That’s the point at which the fruit becomes hard enough to pound nails into a wooden board -- otherwise known as "banana hammer cold."



Another demonstration involved blowing bubbles on a sidewalk with the help of a bubble machine. As they showed us, bubbles last much longer and are even able to bounce and roll down the sidewalk when they get extremely cold.



The pair first caught our attention by showing us what really happens when you throw boiling water into the air in sub-zero temperatures. By recreating an experiment they had seen on the internet, they made it bigger by throwing three gallons of boiling water into -17º F that felt like -29º. The ensuing cloud of vapor formed instantly.


These experiments show how innovative iReporters have become in combating the winter blues. The number of wintery iReports we've gotten has covered a wide range, and we’ve learned lots of lessons here while going through all of them. What kind of weather do you have near you? Share your thoughts in the comments area below, or share photos and video of your own.

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