Originally posted by apathist
Long ago Asimov introduced me to the crucial, wonderful and unique nature of water. Recently I learned about Martin Chaplin who has dedicated his career towards understanding water, and wow, I had no idea. Water is far more interesting than just a sea of identical H2O molecules. For example he identifies 73 anomalous properties of water compared to other liquids.
I make tea at work in the morning, not a coffee person, and it comes out of the cooler (hot and cold water) too hot to drink. So I add a cube of ice. Which is interesting because the way the ice forms there are bubbles of air on the bottom of the cube but not the top, which makes me wonder why the top layer lost the air bubbles, which probably is from the air rising to the top but the water freezes before the bottom layer of air bubbles clears out.
The next thing I notice is some of the ice has cracks in it and when the hot water meets the ice, it explodes and splashes water out of the cup. That is also interesting, but sometimes it just cracks with a cracking sound without breaking apart.
I had to think about that one, why does the ice crack. So I thought there were fault lines induced into the ice somehow during the freezing process probably due to differences in concentrations of contaminants where the ice expands as it freezes.
But hitting hot water, the surface contracts and I think that is the force causing the ice cube to crack sometimes with enough force to explode and splash hot water out of the cup.