Interview with Sam of Evaporating Water YouTube Video

As you know a local Yellowknifer has gone viral on YouTube because of her video of her throwing boiling water into cold Yellowknife air. Her video on YouTube is about to pass 1 million views.

I was able to email Samantha this morning and ask her some questions about the video:

What is the story behind why you made the video?

A couple of friends from Australia were visiting me in Yellowknife over Christmas in December 2009.  I had heard about this experiment from a friend and had wanted to try it out.  I knew it would be “cool”, so I had them record the experiment to get their reaction so we’d have something to share to our friends.

How long and have many views did the video have before it started to go viral?

A couple of friends from Australia were visiting me in Yellowknife over Christmas in December 2009. I posted this video just after their visit on You Tube and, until now, it only had about 25,000 hits.

How long did it take to go viral?

In the past five days it has skyrocketed to currently 850,000 views on You Tube alone!  I’m blown away at how this has picked up worldwide and gone viral. Everyday I receive hundreds of comments on the video, messages, tweets, retweets and hear of websites and blogs it’s been embedded on. It’s been featured everywhere…it’s just amazing.

You said it first went viral in India, any idea why?

My thoughts on India is it was embedded on a website there and gas just taken off. They’ve been really active about tweeting it etc.
The top ten countries where this has been viewed in the last week have been India, United States, Pakistan, Canada, UK, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

Now that your one video has become viral, do you plan on making any others?

I am actually looking forward to creating a few video responses and keep this buzz going.  Science is a wonderful world…now that I have their attention, imagine how they would react to seeing Aurora images, or the northern lights dancing in the sky!

The video is almost at 1 million views and has been featured on blogs all over, how does this make you feel?

I can’t believe it’s about to hit one million! I’m really excited about this and  will be adding this to my resume for sure!  I couldn’t have done it without the help of my Aussie friend Kristen though. As she would say “that’s amazing!”

Any other comments?

To solve the debate on whether it’s evaporating or freezing, it’s called the Mpemba Effect (where hot water freezes faster than cold). When the water vapors freeze, it turns into ice crystals and “evaporates” because of the dry air we have in the north. If the air was more humid, it would stay in the air longer.  The same effect happens behind airplanes (contrails or condensation trails).  It’s a cool trick and I hope people try it at home.


About the author

Kyle Thomas

Kyle grew up in Yellowknife and is a local entrepreneur, writer, baker, and Yellowknife Advocate who is addicted to learning as much as he can about the community and sharing it with anyone who'll listen. In 2009 he developed A website all about living, working and thriving in Yellowknife for residents, newcomers, and visitors.


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