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Hydrogen Bonding

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Poop Splash

Poop Splash

Credit: R'eyes
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grrphoto/218856582/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Plop! A lemon drops into a container of water. How does the water react? It seems to create an open pocket for the lemon and then splashes back and up into the air. Why does the water behave this way?

Why It Matters

  • Water has some interesting properties. Surface tension is an example.
  • If you have an open container of water, surface tension makes the water behave almost as though it has a thin skin on the surface. When something like a lemon drops into the water, the molecules on the surface “stick” together. The “skin” pushes down into the water and creates a void around the object, followed by a big splash back.
  • Why does it matter? The same thing happens when poop drops into a toilet bowl of water. For some people, that may be a troublesome but little discussed problem.
  • Credit: Kecko
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kecko/5165199008/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Poop splash is not a problem for squat style toilets because the toilets do not hold water [Figure2]

     

  • In this video, the problem is called “Poop Splash.” Watch the video to learn more about it and how it can be eliminated. 

What Do You Think?

Based on the video above and the links below, answer the following questions.

  1. What is surface tension? Why does water have surface tension?
  2. What is poop splash? Why does it occur?
  3. What are some factors that influence how high a poop splash is?
  4. How can poop splash be eliminated? Why does this method work?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: R'eyes; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grrphoto/218856582/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Kecko; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kecko/5165199008/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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