Some people say that science is boring, but there's so much more to it than memorizing equations and periodic tables. All the special effects in the world have nothing on what science does every day in our natural world, if you know what to look for. Here are a couple super-cool chemical reactions to get you started.
A silvery metal called Gallium melts at room temperature.
Sulfur hexaflouride gas is so dense that objects float on it like water.
Bonus – if you inhale it, it makes your vocal chords vibrate at a slower frequency. The effect is the opposite of the effect of helium.
Dry ice and water and water go directly from a solid to a gas, creating this bubble.
This crazy tentacle monster appears when you burn ammonium dichromate.
By introducing a current, which strengthens the molecules, water forms a bridge between two containers.
When the temperature falls below a balmy 55°F, white beta tin goes grey and turns to alpha tin.
Adding sulfuric acid to sugar destroys your morning coffee with this crazy water and carbon pillar.
Snake venom coagulates blood. This is why some snake bites are deadly.
That scene with nitrogen trioxide in "Breaking Bad"? It's real.
It's so sensitive that even tiny alpha particles will set it off. Here just the touch of a feather causes it to react.
This creepiness occurs when aluminum and mercury come into contact.
But it's nowhere near as scary as burning mercury thiocyanate.
Can you imagine the shock the first time someone mixed hydrogen peroxide with potassium iodide?
Lithium turns into this coral-like mass when it's burned.
Even a lightbulb burning out, when you see it in slow-motion, is really spectacular.
If a surge of electricity passes through solid insulation material, the electricity fans out, just like lightning, and creates this tree-like pattern.
Aluminum and iodine cause these pink and purple fireworks.
If you put hydrogen peroxide on a bleeding cut, it will cause your blood to foam. (It will clean the wound too.)
The chemist who discovered the Belousov-Zhabotinky reaction, the exchange between two colors that never reach equilibrium, was so baffled that his work was rejected for not coming up with a suitable explanation.
With just a minor change in temperature, titanium and nickel alloy nitinol will snap back to its original shape.
When it reacts to almost anything, sodium acetate solidifies. If you've eaten salt and vinegar chips, chances are good that you've eaten this delicious stuff.
Super hydrophobic surfaces will actually cause water to bead up into spheres.
Hydrophobic sand becomes a paste when immersed in water, but reforms as sand when it's taken out.
Calcium forms this terrifying tentacle tree when it's burned.
Credit: Viral Nova