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Wonder Wednesday: Super Cooling

Today’s Wonder Wednesday was – literally – super cool! We listened to an episode of Radiolab centered around intriguing anecdote: on the Russian-Finnish border during World War II, hundreds of horses fled a forest fire and stampeded into Lake Ladoga. The lake was very cold but not yet frozen, and – according to legend – as soon as the horses entered the water, it froze instantly, trapping them all.

The scientific concept behind this story is called super cooling: pure water that is very cold but not yet frozen will freeze instantly when it comes into contact with something such as dust, bacteria… or maybe horses?

We ran out of time and were unable to finish the podcast so here is a link in case you want to listen to the whole thing again: Radiolab: Super Cool

During the podcast we also watched this video from Grant Thompson, aka “The King of Random”:


What do you think? Did the horses really cause the lake to freeze?

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Filed under Grade 7, Wonder Expo

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