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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