Michigan Meteorologist Blows Up Watermelon With Rubber Bands, Because Science

Thursday, 11 July 2019 - 11:49AM
Weird Science
Thursday, 11 July 2019 - 11:49AM
Michigan Meteorologist Blows Up Watermelon With Rubber Bands, Because Science
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Screenshot: WWMT
We're not sure what makes for a slower news day: a weather expert blowing up a watermelon with rubber bands or... us, writing a story about a weather expert blowing up a watermelon with rubber bands. At the risk of painful introspection that might lead one to consider the life choices that have led to this exact moment, we're going to go ahead and ignore the question entirely: too many existential issues hang in the balance and, let's face it, you're just here because you want to see a watermelon explode.





Randi Burns, a meteorologist at West Michigan's WWMT's Newschannel 3 Severe Weather Team, is the melon-detonating weather expert in question and apparently this isn't her first time taking down big game produce in the name of science. The article covering the melonbomb (sounds like a shot you might order at a beach bar after a long day of putting away margaritas and beer, doesn't it?) notes that Burns, who's been with the station since August of 2018, previously popped a pumpkin using the same latex lethality that she applied to this green beauty, albeit with considerably less effort expended.


So how does this work? Physics, duh. According to Burns, "As you add a rubber band, there is a force applied to the surface. You can't tell with the naked eye, but at the microscopic level, the surface deforms a bit with the addition of each rubber band. As the band tries to contract, the force it creates moves and displaces molecules on the surface of the watermelon. That movement at the surface is so small, it takes a lot of rubber bands applied to one general area of the watermelon before surface deformation is noticeable."


Take a look for yourself. (if the video doesn't load, click here.)




So how many rubber bands did it take? 616, compared to the 353 to put the kibosh on the squash, thanks to the watermelon's higher density. 


Do we have to warn you not to try this at home? Don't try this at home.
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