Blowing Bubbles And Other Cold Weather Experiments

Jan 7, 2014
Originally published on January 8, 2014 5:56 am
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Many of you have been sending us pictures of experiments you've been conducting in the bone-chilling conditions.


In Madison Wisconsin, where it was minus nine degrees when Lora Keuhl and her two children created their very own cloud.

LAURA KEUHL: We boiled water and then just opened the door and threw it up into the air.

MONTAGNE: Creating an ominous plume of frozen mist.

KEUHL: And it kind of - the kids were laughing because it came into our house because the way the wind was blowing. So it was like a big fog that came in.

MONTAGNE: By the way, be careful if you try this yourself. You can get burned if the wind blows the hot water back on you.

GREENE: Please be careful. In Champlin, Minnesota, Jennifer Vendel and her son blew bubbles outside when it was about 17 below zero.

JENNIFER VENDEL: And we saw them freeze in mid air. And when they dropped to the ground, they didn't break. They just rolled because they were frozen.


GREENE: Jennifer's husband, Shane Vendel, created a banana hammer

SHANE VENDEL: My grandpa showed it to me a long time ago when I was a little kid. And if you throw a banana outside when it is below zero, it will actually freeze hard as a brick and you can actually hammer a nail into a piece of wood with it.

MONTAGNE: Sara McGilvra, of Belgium, Wisconsin, and her two kids wanted to see what happens when a raw egg meets a wind chill of minus 38 degrees.

SARA MCGILVRA: We popped open the patio door and cracked it on the pavement.

MONTAGNE: Seventeen minutes later...

MCGILVRA: It was a little squishy in the middle. But it was definitely hard enough that you could pick it up and whack it on the side of the door and it wasn't going to break.


GREENE: OK, that is just plain weird. And maybe you're doing some of this kind of stuff, trying to prove how cold it is where you are. If you are, why don't you send us some pictures of your own cold weather experiments. You can send them to

MONTAGNE: And, David, you know, I'm sitting here in relatively warm - very relatively warm - Southern California.

GREENE: Ah-huh.

MONTAGNE: We're talking 60, 65, 70, 75 degrees...

GREENE: Brag, brag, brag.

MONTAGNE: You know who could (unintelligible) after listening to all of these folks? I'm actually jealous. I'm actually jealous of the cold.

GREENE: Well, kind of - I'll get a video feed going.

MONTAGNE: We'll last a few minutes.


GREENE: And we can do an experiment together.


GREENE: It's cold here. Not as cold as the Midwest but cold.

MONTAGNE: Alright, OK. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.