April 19, 2013

Wringing out a washcloth in space.

Think about what would happen. Then watch:



Did you predict that? Via Boingboing.

40 comments:

edutcher said...

Didn't see that one coming.

Makes you wonder how sex in space would really look.

Sorun said...

The Canadian contribution to space exploration. Thanks.

PackerBronco said...

Ha! I predicted it!!! Surface tension babeee: defies gravity so that plants can get water from the stem to the leaf and makes your capillaries work.

Joe said...

I expected that, but this isn't science, it's a stunt.

Methadras said...

Well he did wring it slowly so that he didn't break the surface tension of water, otherwise it would be going all over the place if there was any vigorous effort.

Original Mike said...

"Did you predict that?"

Yes. Ask us a hard one.

jacksonjay said...


NOW, I'm convinced that all that money spent on space exploration was worth it! Telling me that Tang and disposable diapers were the result of space travel just didn't do it!

Mitchell the Bat said...

In space no one can hear you bathe.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

That wasn't my guess. But, then, when I wring things out I tend to shake them more than that.

Was he literally clamped to the floor, or do they use magnetic boots, or what?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

When I saw the washcloth package, I was expecting something like a Jiffy-Pot expansion to follow.

C Stanley said...

Predicted it, but still wanted to see how it would actually look.

traditionalguy said...

But have you ever seen sharding of frozen water?

Sir Isaac Newton would be very puzzled by a gravity free space. What holds things together?

My compliments to the Creative Designer whose Word Sir Isaac spent much of his life deciphering.

Freeman Hunt said...

I did not predict that. Cool!

MadisonMan said...

My prediction: The water won't move away from the washcloth, and will just be re-absorbed. Now I'll click the link.

MadisonMan said...

I'll call myself half-right. Didn't foresee the water wicking along his hands like it did.

I wonder what would happen if his hands were covered in Vaseline when he performed the experiment.

Sam L. said...

Science fiction fans know this.

tim in vermont said...

Didn't predict it but should have. As soon as you see it it is obvious that is what should happen.

bagoh20 said...

That is freaking awesome, and the exact opposite of what I expected. I assumed that wringing created sufficient pressure inside the rag to squirt it out in all directions.

And all stunts are science.

Brew Master said...

Easy to predict, the only thing I found unexpected was the amount wicking action along his hands.

As far as how they stay in one place, they have foot/hand straps attached to the 'walls' that they can use to anchor themselves.

Brew Master said...

You should see how a match burns in zero G.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q58-la_yAB4

Smilin' Jack said...

Probably the most significant scientific experiment ever done on the ISS.

chuck said...

Exactly what I expected, but still cool to see.

Faith Matters said...

The results were obvious after the fact, but I did not predict them. On an entirely different note: Those "hockey-puck" washcloths are readily available on-line, probably also in sports stores. I love having them on hand when hiking.

furious_a said...

Opening a bag of potato chips in space.

Careful! They're ruffled!

furious_a said...

Screw the washrag water-goo, I want one of those floating microphones!

Balfegor said...

No, that did not play out the way I expected. I thought it was going to huge numbers of tiny droplets spraying in every direction. But maybe it's just that he was doing it so slowly.

Scott M said...

Just way too awesome. I bet he gets laid a lot.

Christy said...

Fun to watch even if it was entirely predictable. I've carried a hockey puck towel in my car for decades and in homage to Douglas Adams, usually one in my purse. Maybe less homage than the hope of getting a lift on a passing spaceship.

Ann Althouse said...

"I thought it was going to huge numbers of tiny droplets spraying in every direction."

Me too.

jacksonjay said...


This reminds me of Howard Wolowitz trip to space?

traditionalguy said...

Mr Wizard in space. Is he being hard on Johnny again?

Is that what Counter intuitive means? We only want to see what we envisioned. And that is Obama medias secret....paint a vision that is false but can get 51% of the vote anyway.

And how is AlGores boiling hot sciFi CO2 poisoned planet doing this cold day?

traditionalguy said...
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Clyde said...

I recently read Mary Roach's Packing For Mars: The Curious Science of Life In the Void. It goes into a lot of the problems with zero gravity and personal hygiene (or lack of same) in space. After reading her interviews with astronauts, space travel loses some of its romantic luster. Like submarines, you only have the air you went with, although the submarines at least can surface occasionally to let the stink out. They also don't have to worry about escaped turd fragments floating around occasionally.

ndspinelli said...
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C Stanley said...

The water emerges holus-bolus from the rag.

Matt said...

Did not guess that. Thanks for sharing.

kentuckyliz said...

I bet they can't jerk off in space. Unless they drape a towel over it first.

Could you imagine...free floating semen?

Synova said...

I wonder how often astronauts come home and drop things.

Anga2010 said...

Am I the only one who noticed that drops of water were spraying off in every direction as he handled and manipulated the cloth? It's impossible to believe that no one else noticed that!

scrubjay said...

My first thought was that it was going to fly off in all directions but when I saw what the water did as it was coming out of the water bag nozzle I changed my prediction to the correct outcome. I saw that the surface tension of the water around the nozzle was keeping it all together and attached to the nozzle. I then predicted that it would do the same thing with the wash cloth.