News: Hand Fully Submerged in Liquid Nitrogen (OUCH... Right?)

Hand Fully Submerged in Liquid Nitrogen (OUCH... Right?)

Apparently submerging a hand in liquid nitrogen isn't as painful as one might suspect (if you trust the Leidenfrost effect as much as Theodore of Gray Matter):

I hadn't realized that my hand was quite so deep into the liquid. Amazingly, I barely felt the cold at all. My skin didn't get hurt for the same reason that water droplets dance on a hot skillet. An insulating layer of steam forms almost instantly between the water and the metal, keeping the droplets relatively cool as they float for several seconds without actually touching the hot surface. To liquid nitrogen, flesh is like that skillet — a surface hundreds of degrees above its boiling point. So the moment my hand touched the liquid, it created a protective layer of evaporated nitrogen gas, just as the skillet created a layer of steam. That gave me just enough time to put my hand in and pull it out again. Any longer than that, and frostbite would have set in.

Image via WonderHowTo (original via video by PopSci)

The phenomenon is called the Leidenfrost effect (after Johann Gottlob Leidenfrost, the doctor who first studied it in 1756). I'd known about it for years, but when it came time to test it in real life, I have to admit that I used my left hand, the one I'd miss less.

You can watch the full Gray Matter episode on PopSci and see the original photographs over at PopSci's website or on Dailymotion.

Warning: Do Not Try This at Home!

Nurd Rage also has a how-to article here on WonderHowTo on the same topic. You can watch his video below.

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Cover image by WonderHowTo (original via video by PopSci)

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That's his right hand.. Watch the tumb.

What part and why does it matter?

I think it's believable. The science is there.

I was talking about the left hand issue.

or the camera could be taking the picture from the back to show the effects and what not

oka standing on the right taking picture from the front hadn straight down into the liquid nitrogen

The video is of a different person altogether.
Notice above the video it says: Nurdrage has a "HowTo" on the same topic, though he also warns: Do not try this at home.

I already did put my hand in liquide nitrogene and in liquide air , it's a bit cold but funny a REALY nice (and scary) experience

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