Lighting water on fire

With all the hooplah about liquid explosives and TSA going nuts with people’s cosmetics just reminds me of eighth grade science a long long time ago.


Don’t get me wrong, liquid explosives are very real and while the government isn’t exactly what you call efficient at tracking things, or handling false positives, I’m not downplaying the fact that I suppose it could happen. Plastic bins isn’t exactly where you want to dispose those types of liquids though and I just laughed when I read Cory’s “explosive water” comment since it reminded me of this story.
We were doing some science experiments that involved pipets or something. In any case, there was alcohol burners, water, and some pretty mild things going on. One of our buddies accidentally bumped his alcohol burner while he thought he spilled his water. Liquids on the black slate countertops looked like any other liquids so he didn’t catch on. It caught on fire, and you could see the twinkle in his eyes as he thought he had done the impossible.
“I’ve lit water on fire!” he exclaimed. We all burst out laughing as he tried to figure out what was so funny. We proceeded to tell him that in his clumsiness, he failed to notice that he had spilled some alcohol from his burner. After some joking and an embarassed friend, we all went back to work before class ended.
Ahh. It’s definitely years ago that it happened but it brings back memories. Lighting water on fire. hmm. Truly amazing.