Using boiling water to make snow on a -25C sick day

Copyright ImageVankleek Hill sick day


Someone in the Northwest Territories uploaded a video to YouTube showing how to make snow with boiling water… I know, finally someone found a use for the Internet besides spreading Mayan propaganda and killing off the music industry.

Basically a woman in Yellowknife, with her Australian friend filming her, poured boiling water into a measuring cup and then threw the water into the -30C air.

Instantly the water became a white cloud, which I think was just the steam coming off the airborne hot water, but on the way down the water flash-froze and became trails of snow.

One of the 2.9 million people who watched the short film left a comment describing the science behind the experiment, but all I can remember is it has to be done when it’s nut-cracking / ovary-shattering cold. I should probably start taking notes again.

So after watching it a few times I boiled some water and, at 3am, threw it off my balcony. And it turned into snow. Then I did it four or five more times.

The next day I showed off to my girlfriend and her oldest son, who was home sick with a head cold. They were both impressed.


YouTube Warning: horizontal stripes add forty pounds.


According to the Weather Network the Vankleek Hill region hit a frosty -25C when I was showing off. But for the next few weeks we’ll be flirting with par, weather wise. So it’s basically time to break out the T-shirts and shorts, and any further experimentation might have to wait until next year.

Which sucks… because *I just figured out how to make it infinitely more awesome*.

…add a touch of food colouring, or your favourite Kool-Aid colour, I just did it with strawberry. So basically I just shot two Litres of boiling red water off my second floor balcony, and in less than a second it turned into a giant, floating blood-pink mist.

Just like what I frequently imagine a real-world Grand Theft Auto IV would look like.

I’m pretty sure if my neighbours saw me doing it they’d be calling the police. I’m going to try it again during the sunrise. Science… fun.


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Canadian Inventions, Entertainment, Family Events, Humor, Humour, Photography, Vankleek Hill, Vankleek Hill Photos, Writing, YouTube Alert and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Using boiling water to make snow on a -25C sick day

  1. zoom says:

    That’s super impressive. That’s the kind of thing he’ll remember 40 years from now, and do for his own kids.

  2. skylark says:

    Try green food colouring… you can make Oobleck!

  3. Hella Stella says:

    Too cool! I’ll bet the bulldogs would find this amusing… I’ll have to try it next time the temperature drops!

  4. Gabriel says:

    I think the bulldogs would be amazed.

    Turns out, if you’re just standing on the deck or the sidewalk, it actually works better with smaller amounts of water, like a measuring cup or coffee mug… but off a second-floor balcony I’ve been shooting between 1L and 2L and it looks and works great.

    I also may have exaggerated the temperature needed to do this… it’s -18C at the moment and it works just fine.

    I did find someone who can explain the science behind what’s going on [link]… he has a video showing the entire process using infrared cameras.

    I’ve got Victor with me today, so I can’t get to the store to buy the green Kool-Aid… but “Oobleck” is definitely on the menu for the next sick day.

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