things that go BANG!

No, this has nothing whatsoever to do with biology… well, that’s not quite true – there’s an exploding whale included 🙂

I remember that one year, early in my secondary schooling (yes, a loooong time ago!), there was a rumour that some young man at Hastings Boys High had disposed of some illicitly-acquired sodium by flushing it down the loo. With the inevitable result – a loud noise & an awful lot of mess. Apocryphal or not, the tale did ram home the dangers of playing with sodium, which reacts rather violently with water.

How violently? Visit this site & find out – 15 explosions, including the results of dropping drums of sodium in a lake, alongside the biggest nuclear device ever detonated, blowing up 100 tons of TNT for no particular reason, and – the exploding whale!

5 thoughts on “things that go BANG!”

  • Marcus Wilson says:

    Almost as disgusting as the exploding whale was our poor cat’s exploding abscess, that last night sent foul-smelling goo across the living room carpet. Yummy. Puss has had a clean-up and antibiotic shot at the vet’s this morning and is much happier.

  • Alison Campbell says:

    Ooh, yeuch! We’ve had that happen, now & then (one of the things that put the daughter off studying to be a vet, I thinK!). Glad to hear Puss is OK.

  • Ayelet McDonald (Cohen) says:

    For explosions with sodium, read “Uncle Tungsten”, Oliver Sacks’s book about chemistry, his family and science.

  • Alison Campbell says:

    That’s a great book, isn’t it? (Parts of it I found quite sad, actually, he seemed to have been an unhappy child at times.) I was delighted to discover where the phrase ‘in the limelight’ came from 🙂

  • Uncle Tungsten is still stuck on my shelf… I’ve too much else to do. I think I’ve read all his earlier work though.
    Looking at those explosions it’s hard to imagine anyone still being pro-nuclear-weapons after watching it.
    I’ve seen that video of throwing sodium barrels in the lake somewhere before.
    Alison: wrote a reply to you on my post on promoting other careers via outside speakers/lecturers post, but lost the darn thing. Might try put something up again when I’ve had time or just email…!

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