The Science Behind Animating A Stick Figure With Water

Stick around

Originally Published: 
floting stick figure trick
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With all the awesome art supplies at your kid’s disposal, it almost impossible to impress them with a lame stick figure. Unless you add water, that is. An anonymous video demonstrated this by simply using a magic marker on a table — your little artist’s favorite surface. While some commenters called it fake, and some moms called it “a mess,” YouTuber Steve Mould clarified the science behind the stickman (or woman) trick.

As Mould explains, the reason this happens is because of the unique way dry erase markers are made. While most ink is meant to stick to its surface, they’re not. The ink can’t be dissolved in liquid and it’s less dense than water. So when you mark a smooth surface the ink floats off of with the water, allowing you to move your doodle any way you want. You don’t even have to touch it, your coffee breath will be powerful enough.

Don’t worry, blowing the lid off this trick won’t ruin how easy and awesome it is. For your kid, the only upsetting part of this explanation is that it doesn’t require them to draw on furniture. Now that you know their stick figure won’t stick, maybe let them have this one.

[H/T] Gizmodo

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