Myth or Legend? Suspending Water Without a Cup?!

March 1, 2011


Hmmmm…. tell me if you think this is possible:

You filled a cup with water and turned it upside down on a smooth surface. You quickly twisted and lifted the cup, and the water remained on the counter– suspended without any support– in the shape of the inverted cup.

Is this REALLY possible?!

My husband, the Brainy Science Guy :smarty: didn’t really think this could be done. I showed him the video I found and he went “hm! that’s interesting!”

Watch for yourself.

The Hubs thinks that part of the reason that the water may not become suspended is because of electricity– the water wants to cling to the inside of the cup. When the cup is removed, the water grabs the cup til it can cling no more, and spills onto the counter.

Distilled water does not conduct electricity because it has the minerals and impurities removed (it’s the minerals and other impurities in water that are the “electrolytes” in the water. So the purer the water, the less apt the water will want to cling to the cup, and the better chance you gave of suspending the water after removing the cup. Hmmmm.

Anyway, it’s all very interesting. We may try this experiment someday…. when I can get enough towels, that it. :-p

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11 Responses to “Myth or Legend? Suspending Water Without a Cup?!”

  1. Karen and Gerard Says:

    Great video! I never would have believed this without seeing it! I’ll have to try it.

  2. Secondary Roads Says:

    That’s one of the best hoaxes I’ve seen. If you look carefully, you can see the secret. Look for yourself. I’m not telling. šŸ™‚

  3. Rebecca Says:

    Chuck- OOOOOO the suspense! Tellmetellmetellme!!! I am terrible with photoshopped pics and altered videos. In the Hubs’ defense, he did not believe it possible. When I first saw the video, I thought the suspended water was jello or ice, but then changed my mind…. hmm hmm.

    Reveal your great wisdom, oh mighty sage. šŸ˜€

  4. Karen and Gerard Says:

    I really would love to know how to do this! I hope Secondary Roads will tell you and you can share it with me! I’d love to do this for the boys in my Sunday School class or at least show them the video and be able to impress them with knowing the secret.

  5. Toby Says:

    I noticed it looks like it’s spinning clockwise, but he twisted counterclockwise…

  6. thinayr Says:

    A great hoax (and a way to make foolish people dump glasses of water all over their kitchens…) Aside from the gravity-defying physics, watching this closely I’m convinced it’s CG (although well-done). I don’t think this effect is too hard to pull off with some basic 3D + motion tracking. BTW- why did you call this “myth or legend”… “myth or miracle” seems more like it…

    • fatgator Says:

      The only thing is, on the youtube video, numerous responders said they tried it and eventually got it.

  7. Chris Says:

    At 1:49 the water breaks before he touches it..

  8. James Says:

    It’s fake. He froze the cup just enough until it formed a thin layer of ice around the water thereby freezing it into place. You can tell because he didn’t use a very high deff camera (it’s just low def enough that you cant tell) and then he stitched two videos together because the shape breaks before he touches it. Plus the hydrogen bonds experienced by water are very, very brief and would never resist the downward acceleration induced upon them by gravity.

  9. BodyDropt Says:

    Physically impossible. The bit about distilled water being less conductive is true, but has nothing to do with water clinging to a glass, and where is this electricity coming from? Static electricity? No. The ice theory could have something to do with how this could done, but everyone is overlooking something rather obvious. The reason you can place a card over the cup and turn it over without water running out is there is no way for air to get into the cup. You can actually let go of the card under ideal conditions and hold the cup upside down in the air without it spilling as seen here How does the air get into the cup? This is fake, but a very cool trick to get people to drench their kitchens.