Mercury Fountain

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Speaking of Spain, here's something I never in my life thought I'd see: a fountain that sends pure mercury streaming down a chute into a pool of .. more pure mercury. You know the mercury that I am talking about, right? The amazingly heavy metal that's liquid at room temperature? The silvery-colored stuff that's in old thermometers? The liquid that, when you break a thermometer, falls on the floor to make dozens of shiny silvery beads and releases poisonous vapors that results in the entire lab being evacuated while it is cleaned up? Yeah, that stuff.

I think this is supposed to be art, but it's kinda scary art, if you ask me.

Joan Miró Museum, Barcelona, Spain.

4 responses so far

  • Pascale says:

    I used to load tubes with mercury for something or other in my high school chemistry class. It does flow beautifully- nothing quite like it.
    Oh, yeah, and it's pretty damn toxic, as well as pretty.

  • arby says:

    Me too, used to play with it all the time as a kid, and vacuum it out of the carpet when a thermometer broke, a serious no-no these days. We (boys) would coat silver dimes with it, (very shiny til it oxidizes, and then it can be rubbed up to a high shine again) and carry them around in our pockets. And those jeans went into the laundry with the other clothes of course. I coulda been a contender, were it not for all the mercury in my brain. Now they close schools until the people in moon suits get there to clean up a spill, and I'm considering a career as a hatter. rb

  • Tom English says:

    Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork

    Loading mercury with a pitchfork
    your truck is almost full. The neighbors
    take a certain pride in you. They
    stand around watching.

    - Richard Brautigan

  • Eric Juve says:

    It would be even neater if they had the main pool heated to boiling!