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Elemental Opposites

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#48750
Fun:*** (2.38)
Difficulty:** (2.04)
Submitted By:logicgeniusAus****!




You have a bowl of water. Placed in the center of it is a paraffin candle. The water level is below the top of the wax by about a few milliliters. How can you use any ONE common household object so that when the candle is lit, the wick will go below the water level with the fire still going? A lighter is provided.

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Jun 02, 2011

Wow. I didn't know that!! Gonna try it sometime!
Oct 16, 2011

Nice question.
Nov 18, 2011

I tried it and it didn't work but I'm sure I did something wrong.
Jan 04, 2013

although wax may float on water the fire will still go out in this situation once the candle has burned for a little bit
Sep 27, 2015

Although technically if the diameter of the candle is large enough then the flame will just burn down below the water and the edges of the candle will remain intact and prevent water from burning into the candle.
Sep 17, 2016

Find a large bowl with 6" depth, an empty tomato can(4.75" tall), a 4" long candle and a 2.375" diameter flower arranging metal "frog". Press the bottom of the candle into the frog, then drop the candle/frog into the can. This allows the candle a solid base. Place the can into the center of the bowl. Weigh the can down, if necessary, with pebbles, marbles, fishing lead, etc. This ensures that the can does not float off the bottom of the bowl. Fill the bowl to the top of the can. If you overfill the bowl, it won't matter at all. A few extra ounces of water will just sit at the bottom of the can. Light the candle, and you'll have a flame and wick below the water's surface!
Sep 17, 2016

Oops! I used more than ONE common household object, didn't I? Ok, let's use a VERY heavy clear glass vase, 5" tall. Melt the bottom of a 4" candle and press it into the bottom of the vase. Place the assembly into a large bowl that's 6" deep or more. Fill the bowl with 5" water. If the vase flounders, simply add water into the vase until it stabilizes. Light the candle. You'll have a flame and wick below the water surface that'll burn all the way down, like it should. This lit candle should make for an awesome conversation piece!
Sep 17, 2016

Ok, one more try. Cut 2" off of a shower curtain rod/tube. Press the rod over a 4" long pillar candle at the wick's end. Melt the other end and press it into the bowl. Light the candle, then fill the bowl with water. Do NOT fill past the top of the metal tube, but just a fraction of an inch below the top of the band. The candle will burn for hours, but you'll have to keep pushing the tube down the candle shaft as it melts away. And of course, the water level must always be below the edge of the tube. It's not as aesthetically pleasing as the candled vase, but the candle will burn for hours!

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