Best of Web // Taylor Ellis

Best of Web // Taylor Ellis

This crystalline globe is the result of dropping extremely salinated water on a heated hydrophobic (water-repelling) surface. As the water evaporates, you can see a salt shell begin to form and grow legs. This is caused by fluid traveling towards the surface, and as the crystals form it begins to build on itself creating “legs”. From both a scientific and artistic standpoint, these images are really stunning. The various shapes that can result from this technique are a form of art themselves (see this video). This reminds me of growing salt crystals as a child, but with the introduction of elevated techniques.


Samantha McBride, MIT

Henri-Louis Girard, MIT

Kripa Varanasi, MIT

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • David Kuchta
    Sep 16, 2020 21:32

    This is my third choice. It’s a truly beautiful display of art and science. At first it looks like a spinning marble, but then you start to realize what was really going on. This sort of “magic” really caught my attention and made me want to learn more about what made it possible.

  • Hunter Hach
    Sep 15, 2020 18:26

    This is my third place choice for best of web. Making use of a phase change related phenomenon I find to be a very creative and unique way to visualize flow. Being able to see the salt crystals act like seeds in the flow shows an incredible amount of motion as the drop just begins to evaporate which I certainly would not have expected to happen.

  • Stella Newman
    Sep 14, 2020 13:46

    This is my number two choice, I enjoy the whole process demonstrated by the GIF. The formation of the crystals is both aesthetic and thought provoking.

  • Jacob Christiansen
    Sep 14, 2020 13:32

    This is my #1 choice, I think the gif is such an interesting showcase of physics, chemistry, and a cool aesthetic.


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