It’s hard to imagine that one tablespoon of olive oil can have such a massive effect on a lake, but it actually does. What The Physics?! is illustrating how one tablespoon of olive oil destroys half an acre of waves on a lake in only 10 minutes time.
Gregg explains that the reason the waves become so calm after adding olive oil is due to oil molecules flipping onto their negatively charged heads because they’re attracted to positively charged parts of the water molecules.
The oil molecules want to touch the water and in order to do that the oil must spread out to a layer that’s one molecule thick which calms the waves in the process — acting like a tangled shaggy carpet on top of the water. Check out the interesting backstory in the video below.
Like what you’re reading? Be sure to give this post a thumbs up and a share with your friends on Facebook before you go. For more stories, subscribe to our free e-mail list. (h/t TwistedSifter)