Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Flushing Mercury Down the Toilet

Mercury is a dense metal, but it’s also liquid, which makes it a rather odd substance to play with experiment with. The same volume of mercury is 13 times heavier than water. Mad scientist CodyDon Reeder wondered if you could flush mercury down a toilet. No, not your toilet, because it’s dangerous to put mercury in the sewer system. But a working toilet with a closed water system? Let’s see.

He also wondered how much mercury it would take to stop up a toilet, and then what would it be like to flush a toilet with mercury and no water! A toilet tank of mercury weighs about 240 pounds, so that in itself presented challenges, but Cody managed to do it. This is way more interesting than it should be. YouTube commenters say he should be nominated for an Ig Nobel next year. (via Metafilter)

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