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Not Burnt

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

 

Puzzle ID:#39921
Fun:*** (2.46)
Difficulty:** (1.52)
Category:Science
Submitted By:shenqiangAcn****!!

 

 

 



John spilt some molten metal on his hand. However, he didn't get burnt.

How can this be possible?



Answer

The molten metal is mercury (Hg)!

Mercury's melting point is lower than that of water and is a liquid at room temperature. It's got something to do with the very weak Hg-Hg bonding, and that's due to the fact that Hg atoms do not share their valence electrons readily.

Mercury is poisonous and should be handled with care. However, unlike other liquids, it doesn't stick to or infiltrate solid surfaces unless they're made of metals. Therefore, mercury poisoning is unlikely to be caused by skin contact.

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