KTVO tests burning snowball myth
Wed, 05 Feb 2014 03:12:55 GMT —
The snow has been falling all Tuesday afternoon in Kirksville and KTVO spent the snow day trying to light snow on fire.
Videos of people attempting to burn a snow ball have been popping up all over the internet this winter, but if you plan on trying this at home, you may have a big letdown.
"I think they would be very disappointed if they tried to light a snowball on fire. Snow is water and water doesn't burn. And yeah, it would be a pretty disappointing experience, I would think," said Brian Lamp, a Professor Chemistry at Truman State University.
Attempting to solve the burning snowball myth is a great way to let the family enjoy the winter weather, and also learn about science. The only items you need for this homemade science experiment is a snowball and a lighter. And obviously kids, if you want to try this out, please do so with adult supervision.
Many of the viral videos show that when a snowball is held up to a heat source, it doesn't appear to be melting, but in actuality it is.
"The thing that got it started were these guys holding up a lighter to a snowball and if you do that, the snow will melt," added Lamp.
Many of the videos also show a black soot mark forming on the snow, and an odor is also reported when the heat source is held up to the snow. The outcome of this depends on two different things: The kind of snow that has fallen; either packed or powder, and how much pollution is found in the air. The burning of the snow is just science working at its best.
"Nothing really sinister about it, it's just water and fire doing what it wants to do," said Lamp.