In almost all circumstances you do not want to lose a bet. However, on rare occasions—if you are smart enough (like, NASA engineer smart)—you can make it so that losing is the same thing as winning, like when the bet requires you to take a dip in a swimming pool filled with 25 million Orbeez water balls. That is exactly what YouTube user Mark Rober, the former engineer at NASA (see), needed to do to answer the question of who was right, him or The Backyard Scientist, about how much someone would float in a pool full of them.
He technically lost—he misjudged how much friction from the balls would help keep him higher in the water than normally would be expected—but this is a video only featuring winners, clearly. Look at this! We want to swim in this before summer ends, and then through fall and winter. Basically we just want to live in the giant pool of Orbeez.
For those of you that have never heard of Orbeez before, they are a specific brand of water balls made of superabsorbent polymers that greatly expand when put in water, a product you sometimes find in flower vases, and which are commonly used in diapers and for soil irrigation (not to mention you see them in spas all the time). They start as little tiny balls that can grow to 100-300 times their original size when soaked in water, which fills in the space between the molecules, causing the balls to swell. The purer the water used the larger they grow, and Orbeez can get as large as half-an-inch in size (though it appears he mixed in some even larger versions here for aesthetics).
The company says that one packet of Orbeez contains 150 balls (equaling about 3/4 of a cup after they are placed in water), so that means to get to 25 million of them Rober needed to use the equivalent of almost 167 thousand packets. While there will be excess liquid when you remove a packet of balls from water, they say you should use 1.5 cups of water per each, so that equates to about 250 thousand cups of water (15,600 gallons) required for that many of them, just in case you are planning on making this yourself and want to know the math.
Since diving into an entire sea of gold coins would get you killed (it’s a pile of solid metal people, not a liquid sea of riches), this is probably more akin to what a real life Scrooge McDuck would do with all of his free time and money. At least it’s what we would do if we hit the lottery tomorrow.
If the name Mark Rober sounds familiar it should, because we recently told you about the world’s largest NERF gun that he built, the one that could shoot gigantic NERF darts (modified pool noodles with plunger heads attached to them) at forty miles-per-hour.
Because while exploring the cosmos is very important, using your scientific knowledge and skills for some silly fun and games is really important work, too. We might not need to know how much we will float in a pool of Orbeez today, but what if we discover a planet of Orbeez eventually?
You didn’t even think of that, did you?
What do you think it would be like to swim in this pool? What else would be fun to replace with Orbeez? Dive into our comments section below and expand it with your answers to these very important questions.
Images: Mark Rober