Some cool videos of what happens when a sphere falls into sand…

…from NPR’s Science Friday.

…from Discover Magazine.

…from the University of Chicago.

Below is my favorite:

This reminds me of when I worked for Domino’s Pizza in Bloomington, Indiana.  I was a Manager Trainee (indentured servent).  One day we were setting up for opening and I was carrying buckets of sauce from the walk-in cooler to the make line.  A bucket of sauce was maybe two gallons of sauce.

I walked out of the cooler and slipped and fell.  Everything happened in slow motion.  As I started to fall my primary concern was to not spill the sauce.  So I held on to the rim of the bucket tight with both hands and tried to “catch” my fall with the upright bucket.  I was surprisingly successful at this and for a millisecond I thought all was going to be well.

But then the sauce moved.  It hollowed at the middle and then gathered together and rose in a column to the ceiling. There was very little left in the still upright and unmoved bucket when all was said and done.  The sauce was on the ceiling, the top of the cooler, the table, the floor, and me.

It was worth it.

The above video’s also bring to mind one of my favorite science fiction reads from the sixties:  A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke in which a moon vehicle sinks into the fine dust of the moon’s surface.

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