What Happens When You Drop A Red Hot Ball Of Nickel Into Water?

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It’s called the Leidenfrost Effect, whereby the ball surrounds itself with a blanket of steam that keeps the rest of the water away. Eventually, the ball cools to the point where the steam jacket can’t be maintained, at which point, well, you’ll see.

It’s the same effect that allows liquid nitrogen to skitter across a floor, drops of water to cascade around a hot pan or a wet finger to be momentarily dipped in boiling lead without injury.

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