a blend of sulfur and marshmallows
August 22, 2012 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Researchers in the Earth Sciences and Art departments at Syracuse University melt basalt and make their own lava flows for science and art! Here's the project's homepage, including videos. via make blog
posted by moonmilk (8 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The interaction of the molten basalt with the ice is not what I was expecting. I would not have guessed that the two would make such neat formations together. Something as hot as lava mixing with something as cold as ice- I guess I was expecting an explosion or something.

Also, I just learned that rock wool insulation is spun from molten basalt:

"The manufacture of basalt fiber requires the melting of the quarried basalt rock at about 1,400 °C (2,550 °F). The molten rock is then extruded through small nozzles to produce continuous filaments of basalt fiber. "
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 7:31 AM on August 22, 2012

Fascinating idea! It's kind of an upgrade on those tables of sand you can run water down, in order to create miniature geologies.
posted by carter at 7:58 AM on August 22, 2012

When I first read about it on the make blog, I had the momentary impression that they were making simulated lava by melting marshmallows with sulfur. I'm a little bit disappointed that it's not true, except melting real rocks is way better. I'm also daydreaming about a road trip to Syracuse in the winter.
posted by moonmilk at 8:11 AM on August 22, 2012

Here's the project's homepage, including videos.

Strictly speaking, that page features video's rather than videos.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:50 AM on August 22, 2012

Ha, so it do's.
posted by moonmilk at 9:29 AM on August 22, 2012

I don't understand. Where's the vinegar and baking soda?
posted by ckape at 10:44 AM on August 22, 2012

Golly, this is quite nearby and I had no idea. Cool, thanks for posting this!

Basalt is freaky stuff. Rafting the Rogue River in Oregon one gets to check it out up close and personal, and dang, that stuff is both sharp and hard. The thought of melting it is intriguing.
posted by kinnakeet at 11:04 AM on August 22, 2012

Where's the vinegar and baking soda?

60 gallons of vinegar + 100 lbs. baking soda = World's Largest Vinegar & Baking Soda Volcano (SLYT).
posted by cenoxo at 8:17 PM on August 22, 2012

« Older DON'T PANIC. (AGAIN.)   |   Busta Rhymes: the James Brown of hip-hop, there's... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments