Slow-Mo Video Reveals Raindrops on Sand Behave Like Asteroid Impacts

By Jamie Condliffe on at

There's little more atmospheric than striding out across a beach in the driving rain. But what's happening as those rain drops smash into the sand beneath your feet?

This video, created by researchers from University of Minnesota, shows how drops of water landing on microscopic glass beads — just like the particles of sand on a beach — affect what lies beneath.

Depending on the momentum of the drops, they can leave a variety of crater forms, as the video shows. Interestingly, it turns out that rain drops landing in sand behave in much the same way as asteroid impacts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the video won the 2014 APS Physics Fluid Motion Award. [arXiv via Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics]