In February 2021, after an enormous winter storm left tens of millions 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 individuals making an attempt to mild snowballs on fireplace, and have been typically accompanied by the declare that the snowfall in Texas had been artificially made by the federal government.
There’s no fact to those claims. The above-displayed video doesn’t “show” that the federal government manufactured a large snowfall in Texas. Quite, this video demonstrates a typical property of snow.
Science blogger Phil Plait explained that the explanation 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 because 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. If you burn it, the molecule reacts with oxygen within the air, breaking the bonds between atoms, and reforming new molecules. If the burning have been excellent, all you’d have left is carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20).
Right here’s a video of Plait performing this experiment:
This isn’t the primary time web customers have been perplexed by the properties in snow. We first wrote about this rumor again in 2014.