Snow That Won't Melt? (#2)


    Troll informed me that the video did not post properly in my initial attempt, so I am trying it again...

    Why is the snow not melting - and why are there scorch marks on it where the lighter flame was applied?

    There are numerous videos of this type floating around and conspiracy theories abound. What is the real explanation?

    First of all, the snow IS melting. The reason you don't see any water dripping is that the snow (being porous) reabsorbs the melting water. If you continued to heat the snow long enough, it would become like a slushy and collapse.

    What about the scorch marks? The chemical in the lighter is butane - a hydrocarbon (which consists of hydrogen and carbon). When anything burns, it reacts with oxygen in the air. The burning process breaks bonds in the atoms and creates new molecules.

    If this process were perfect, all you would get would be carbon dioxide and water. Because it isn't perfect, however, some of the carbon reforms into long chains - creating what we call soot.

    This is an experiment you can try at home - with due caution...