You don’t understand. You can’t just come to the Sea of Galilee and start walking on water. If you could, everybody would be doing it. You need to prepare yourself. -Walk on Water
As some of you may have noticed from looking at the site over the past few days, Scienceblogs has partnered with National Geographic. To celebrate this, I want to show you one of my favorite National Geographic clips of all time, showcasing the Central American Basilisk. (Its nickname? “The Jesus Lizard.”) Why? You’ll see…
Of course, we’re not. But you’re familiar with water acting like a solid, even if you don’t know it. What would happen if you jumped out of an airplane and your parachute didn’t open? Would landing over a lake be any better for you than landing on dry land?
Of course not; on an extreme enough timescale, any fluid can act like a solid, and any solid can act like a liquid! Don’t believe it? Take some silly putty, roll it into a ball, and throw it against a wall. It’ll bounce, acting like a solid! Now take that ball of silly putty, and put it on a flat surface with a hole in it. And wait a few minutes. You should start to see it act like a liquid, like this.
Physicists call materials that are in-between solids and liquids like this non-Newtonian fluids. They are some of the most fun you can have, if you can get enough of them. My personal favorite? Cornstarch + water. What can you do with enough of it? Remember the basilisk?