In February 2021, after an enormous winter storm left hundreds of thousands of individuals with out energy in Texas, a number of movies began circulating on social media that purportedly confirmed one thing unusual occurring with the snow. These movies featured folks making an attempt to mild snowballs on hearth, and have been typically accompanied by the declare that the snowfall in Texas had been artificially made by the authorities.
There’s no fact to those claims. The above-displayed video doesn’t “prove” that the authorities manufactured an enormous snowfall in Texas. Rather, this video demonstrates a typical property of snow.
Science blogger Phil Plait explained that the motive the snow doesn’t seem to soften in these viral movies is as a result of it’s reabsorbing the water because it melts. Plait additionally famous that the scorch marks are created by a chemical response:
To summarize, two issues occur: One is that as the snow melts, the remaining snow absorbs the water. That’s why it doesn’t seem to drip; the snowball turns into a slushball.
The black scorch marks are literally from the lighters themselves. Butane is a hydrocarbon, a molecule made up of carbon and hydrogen. When you burn it, the molecule reacts with oxygen in the air, breaking the bonds between atoms, and reforming new molecules. If the burning have been good, all you’d have left is carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20).
Here’s a video of Plait performing this experiment:
This will not be the first time web customers have been perplexed by the properties in snow. We first wrote about this rumor again in 2014.