The Leaping Shampoo Trick – Kaye Effect

By Anupum Pant

This is really interesting and I can’t explain why. You’ll have to see it for yourself.

Long time back, researchers at the University of Twente in The Netherlands thought of something very weird. They decided to drop a thin stream of shampoo from a height of about 20 cm, ended up discovering an absurd physical effect and winning great accolades for it – The Kaye effect.

The seemingly weird effect can fairly easily be achieved at home by dropping a thin stream of shampoo on a relatively hard surface. In individual steps, this is what happens when you do it:

  • As the stream gets collected, it forms a little shampoo heap.
  • Amazingly, and counter-intuitively, a secondary stream ejects off the heap.
  • The mythical secondary stream becomes bigger, shoots further.
  • And finally hits the incoming stream – this collapses the Kaye effect.

Of course, everything happens really fast. But, if you look at it on extremely slowed down film, you’d see the individual steps happening one after the other.

True, the secondary stream collapses too quickly, scientists weren’t happy about that either. So, they tried tilting the hard surface slightly to achieve a stabler version. Lo! And they had a stable Kaye effect.

This happens because due to certain physical forces the viscous liquid becomes slightly less viscous temporarily – they call it shear thinning. As a result, it causes a new stream to emerge. May be the same effect could be achieved with other thicker liquids like lava, ketchup, whipped cream, blood, paint, and nail polish. But, then lava is too dangerous, and others (barring blood and paint) seem to be too thick. I’m guessing, dropping thicker ones from a higher place could make this happen.

If you find this interesting,you’d definitely love the egg and milk effect, also the chain of beads defying gravity.

Here, watch it on video.

Dozens Died During The Dance Epidemic of France

By Anupum Pant


In the year 1518, a woman named Frau Troffea suffered with a very mysterious, contagious and a scary disease. Till date, doctors or science has no explanation on what really was going on in her body and the disease is still named among one of the most bizarre and the most unexplainable diseases ever – The Dance plague of 1518.

In the month of  July Frau Troffea came down to a quiet street in the city of Strasbourg, France and started dancing fervently on the street.  Even 6 days later, the woman was still dancing. On the 6th day, she probably died out of exhaustion.

But by the time she had stopped, the dancing disease had spread to 34 more people. And by the end of that month there were 400 others who were experiencing this irresistible urge to dance. Dozens died out of exhaustion.

Ironically, doctors and physicians suggested that the cure to this dancing plague would be to dance more. It was literally dance till you drop. Musicians were hired, stages were made for these hoards of dancers.

Similar contagious of these dancing epidemics in other European cities have been recorded in the history at least 10 other times before this. There was one in the year 1374, which the records say, spread to several towns!

Agreed the story is too old and seems to have become hyped due to repeated story telling, but clearly that isn’t the case because the certainty of the event, is established through a number of independent records.

Why was this happening?

Well, no one knows for sure. The mysterious disease has baffled scientists for years. However, there are of course some weak theories that explain the behaviour of these dancing people.

One theory says that the dancers got high on ergot – A psychotropic fungus that grows on rye and must have reached these people through bread. Since the symptoms associated with ergot poisoning are very similar to what these people were experiencing, it seems like a valid explanation. But there’s almost no chance that ergot poisoning happened…

That is because when a person gets poisoned by this fungus, they start having hallucinations and involuntary muscle contractions. However, the people who were affected by the dancing plague, according the people who had seen this happening, were clearly not willing to dance – which doesn’t happen when you are poisoned by ergot.

Also, these “muscle contractions” they were experiencing weren’t just involuntary contractions that are associated with ergot poisoning. They were moving in a very coordinated manner, actually dancing. Clearly, it wasn’t ergot.

Another possible explanation says that it was out of fear, anxiety and desperation among the people because of the widespread famine and disease in that area during this period. This is presently a widely accepted explanation.

Still, what exactly was happening their brains and what exactly caused it, no one knows.

[Source] [Read more here]

The Mystery Light Bulb Has Been On For 113 Years

By Anupum Pant

There are a handful of different reasons that may make an incandescent bulb blow out. Improper sealing, rough handling and electrical surge are some of them which may blow out a bulb prematurely. Still, bulbs are not for ever.

Very gradually, due to the extremely high heat of resistance, the very thin tungsten filament would evaporate making it thinner and thinner with time. Ultimately, the filament will certainly reach a point beyond which it can’t last. At a certain place in the filament where a slightly greater number of atoms get evaporated into the inert atmosphere of the bulb, the filament breaks. As a result the bulb pops and you need to replace it.

Even if everything goes right, your average incandescent bulb won’t usually last for more than a couple of years. Certainly not for 113 years! But one bulb did and it still glows. No one knows or understands why exactly it has lasted for so long. Whatever it is, it is nothing less than a miracle.

Installed in the year 1901, the incredibly old bulb (not tungsten filament, this one is a carbon filament bulb) still glows at a fire station in Livermore, California. All it’s life it’s seen ups and downs, was moved from one place to another (mostly fire stations), was protected from electrical surges and what not. With a few hours of brief outages here and there it has clocked over one million hours of burn time. And it still glows. In fact it holds the world record for being the longest burning light bulb. You can watch it here on the live cam.

[Centennial bulb live cam] Fun fact: The bulb has outlasted 3 of these webcams which keep broadcasting its live status.

Last year, it went off for a couple of hours and created waves all over the media. Later, it was reported that the bulb was back again. It was probably “just taking a nap“.

There are a couple of explanations (theories) on what may have made the bulb last so long. A few of them being –

  • It hasn’t been switched on and off many times. Lesser cycles, longer life.
  • It is a 60 watt bulb turned on to about 4 watts, which probably prevents it from going too hot.
  • Since a lot of extra care and money was spent on making this bulb, it was not one of those mass manufactured bulbs. It has probably been sealed perfectly. So, there’s no chance of air leaking into the bulb.

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