Topic: sand

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Observing the angle of repose with DIY physics devices

The angle of repose or critical angle of repose is how steep various types of materials can be piled without slumping. The steepness of the side of a pile is determined by the amount of friction between the particles ...

How to collect black sand with a magnet

If you're ever at a beach with some black sand in the mix, run a magnet through the sand to see if the black sand sticks. Exploratorium educator Ken Finn demonstrates this experiment with a magnet and a plastic cup at...

What is dust made of?

Less than a tenth the size of an ant, a dust mite’s whole world is contained in the dusty film under a bed or in a forgotten corner. This realm is right under our noses, but from our perspective, the tiny specks of br...

Theo Jansen’s Animaris Mulus Strandbeest

It has an elephant-like trunk, or perhaps a toucan's beak, that helps stabilize its front. Wind-catching sails extend out from the sides like wings. Its front legs walk quickly and smoothly across the sand while its b...

Speed up geologic time with a DIY squeeze box

Build. Observe. Play in the sand and dirt. Making your own easy-to-build squeeze box is fun for lots of different reasons, including educational ones. This Science Snacks video with Eric Muller from The Exploratorium ...

Liquid Sand Hot Tub: Making a giant fluidized bed of sand

When air is pumped through sand in just the right way, the sand begins to behave a lot like a fluid. As air escapes between the sand particles, items placed in the sand will begin to float. Others will sink. And when ...

How sand swimming shovel-snouted lizards stay cool in the Namib Desert

Endemic to the Namib Desert, shovel-snouted lizards (Meroles anchietae) have learned how to survive in extreme conditions. They are fast, able to run at over 91.5 cm/3 feet per second. When they rest, they must carefu...

Poet on the Shore by Yuxi Liu

An autonomous robot rolls across the beach. Though it might stop moving, its sensors haven't stopped taking in information about its surrounding environment: the waves, the wind, the sounds of people and animals both ...

A pacific razor clam burrows rapidly into the sand

Watch as a pacific razor clam (Siliqua Patula) rapidly burrows into the sand with its large foot. When it's almost completely buried, it ejects spouts of water, a reaction that a variety of razor clams are known for. ...

Make Lissajous patterns with DIY sand pendulums or light

Sand pendulums are an easy and beautiful method for students of all ages to learn a bit about the harmonic motion. These devices are easy to build and can be adjusted to give a variety of patterns. A pendulum that beg...

The differences between a living and a dead sand dollar

How can you tell if a sand dollar is dead or alive? Sand dollars are flat sea urchins that burrow into the soft sand. When alive, their undersides are full of "velvet-textured spines" covered with cilia, a latin word ...

Humphead parrotfish poop helps create new island beaches

How can a hungry school of fish help to create a thriving reef island? In this clip from the BBC's The Blue Planet, neon-colored Humphead Parrotfish crunch rocks and hard corals alike as they forage for coralline alga...

A night adventure to see Nicaragua’s sea turtles

Conservation educator Phil Torres traveled to Playa la Flor and the surrounding waters in Nicaragua to document how Paso Pacifico is working to protect the sea turtles. From SeeTurtles.org: Along Nicaragua's Pacif...

Meet The Team Protecting Costa Rica’s Sea Turtle Mecca

Nearly all species of sea turtles are endangered, but Tortuguero, a small island on the eastern coast of Costa Rica, offers a safe place for nesting green and leatherback sea turtles. It was here in 1959 that Dr. Arch...

A seal herds fish off the coast of Australia’s Bondi Beach

Watch a seal herd a huge school of fish in the clear teal blue waters of Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. This short video was filmed with a Dji Phantom4 drone by drone-over-beach specialists Le Cut Studio. Here are ...

How bells are made at the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry

At the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry in Asten, Netherlands, the art of bronze bell making or bellfounding is based on 1,000 year old techniques that include using sand and molten wax. Watch craftsmen sculpt the inn...

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest on the beach in San Francisco

Join Adam Savage as he talks with Dutch physicist-turned-artist Theo Jansen. The subject: Strandbeests -- “beach animals” in Dutch. For the very first time, Jansen has brought his wind-fueled kinetic sculptures to win...

Saving Sea Turtles in the Solomon Islands

From National Geographic and Seedlight Pictures: Willie Atu of The Nature Conservancy takes us on a ride around The Arnavon Islands to see endangered hawksbill and green sea turtles swimming in the clear water, as wel...

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