Molten metal is like a liquid sculpture. It starts out burning hot yet able to flow, moving around obstacles (that it doesn’t destroy) to eventually harden into a shiny record of its path. We’ve seen it harden into a (rather ghastly) subterranean map of a giant ant colony and the guts of a watermelon, and now YouTuber The Backyard Scientist shows us what happens when “water balls” meet liquid aluminum.
So-called “water balls” are actually absorbent orbs of polymer–tiny pieces of plastic that start out small but grow into marble-sized, almost perfectly transparent spheres. People are crazy for these things because you can grab a submerged handful of water balls and it looks like you produced them from nothing. The Backyard Scientist thinks they’re pretty awesome too, but decided to combine them with his love for pouring molten metal on stuff.
The end result of his extensive experimentation (that you shouldn’t try at home) are half-a-dozen beautiful sculptures that look good in a garden, a fish tank, or on a desk. What makes them so pretty is the way that the metal includes the spherical impressions of the balls, and some of the balls themselves. I’m starting to think that you could pour molten aluminum on anything and it would make something worth gawking at.
What should Backyard Scientist pour molten metal on next? He already has a whole playlist devoted to it, so head over to his channel and let him know what to do. Because science.
IMAGES: The Backyard Scientist