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  • What would happen if you dumped

  • one of the world's coldest liquids

  • into the boiling, volatile mouth of a volcano?

  • First thing's first,

  • if you're planning to put on your protective

  • gear and dump a bucket of liquid nitrogen

  • into a volcano,

  • you're going to be disappointed.

  • Before you could even get close to the mouth

  • of the volcano,

  • the liquid nitrogen would evaporate

  • due to the extreme heat.

  • So you'd have to be a little more creative.

  • One way you could do it would be to

  • fill a bunch of cannonballs

  • with liquid nitrogen and launch them

  • all into the volcano at once.

  • That would definitely start a reaction

  • inside the volcano, but

  • you probably wouldn't want

  • to stick around to see it.

  • Now, before you go mixing

  • these two crazy things together,

  • let's get to know them a little better.

  • On the one hand, you have volcanoes,

  • which are basically giant holes in the Earth's crust.

  • They're full of boiling hot magma that can erupt outwards in the form of lava.

  • Actually, "boiling" is an understatement,

  • because lava can reach temperatures of up to 1,200°C (2,192° F).

  • On the other hand, you have liquid nitrogen,

  • the smoky-looking substance that most people have heard of, but

  • don't know much about.

  • It can be as cold as -210°C (-346° F),

  • and when it warms up and becomes a gas,

  • it expands to 175 times its volume.

  • If we want the liquid nitrogen to have a noticeable impact on the volcano,

  • we're going to need millions of liters of the stuff.

  • No big deal. Large masses of liquid nitrogen can be produced commercially,

  • and all we'd need to transport it would be

  • vented and insulated containers to prevent pressure buildup.

  • The really hard part would come

  • when you'd try to put those millions of liters of liquid nitrogen into the volcano.

  • That brings us back to the cannonballs.

  • The idea is that you'd fill each cannonball with liquid nitrogen

  • and blast it into the mouth of the volcano.

  • When the cannonball melts due to the extreme heat,

  • it will release the liquid nitrogen into the magma.

  • Yeah, we realize this is getting ridiculous, but hey

  • you knew what you were signing up for.

  • Once a few cannonballs reached the magma,

  • there would be a deadly brew of heated nitrogen gas

  • floating its way up and out of the volcano,

  • gobbling up all of the oxygen around it as it rises.

  • The liquid nitrogen might be able to freeze the surface lava

  • quickly enough to form a crust,

  • but that still wouldn't be a very exciting effect for you watching from outside the volcano.

  • Now, if you were somehow able to line up thousands of nitrogen cannons

  • and continuously fire copius amounts of liquid nitrogen into the volcano,

  • then things would start to get interesting.

  • With this amount of liquid nitrogen,

  • more than just the surface lava would start to freeze,

  • and immense pressure would build up underneath.

  • Beneath the mouth of the volcano,

  • there would be kilometers of lava slowly making its way to the surface.

  • Its natural flow would be stopped by the frozen top layer.

  • All that pressure would need to go somewhere.

  • The surface lava would, at this stage, look like a crumbling black sidewalk,

  • slowly being elevated as lava pools under it.

  • Finally, explosions would begin.

  • The volcano would erupt, sending jets of atmospheric pollutants skyward,

  • pollutants that could affect any living creature in the vicinity.

  • Or the volcano might even explode, causing an earthquake.

  • Essentially, you'd be creating an induced eruption.

  • A blocked vent is what causes volcanic eruptions,

  • but generally, those blocks are natural.

  • So maybe you should just keep the liquid nitrogen far away from volcanoes,

  • and put it to better uses, like culinary experiments.

  • Maybe there's a delicious dish waiting to be discovered

  • by mixing liquid nitrogen and lava together,

  • but that's a story for another WHAT IF.

What would happen if you dumped

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如果我們把一池液氮倒進火山裡會怎樣? (What If We Poured a Pool of Liquid Nitrogen Into a Volcano?)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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