Amazing illusion: Watch water flow like never before

A video shows how a camera trick and a little audio know-how can result in a stunning water spectacle.

This is real, but there's a catch. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Water can be a solid, liquid, or gas -- and one heck of a dazzling science experiment when you pump up the volume.

A mind-bending video by YouTube user Brusspup shows how falling water can take on a zigzag pattern after two influencing factors: a nearby device emitting a 24Hz sine wave noise and a camera recording at 24 frames per second.

"The speaker is vibrating 24 times per second, which causes the water hose to vibrate 24 times per second," said Brusspup about the water video in an e-mail interview with Crave. "The camera is filming at 24 frames per second, so since both the camera and water are moving at the same rate, you see no change in what's happening; hence, the water appears to be frozen in air."

Unfortunately, before you try to replicate this at your next social soiree, you should know that it's not quite possible to see the zigzag waterfall in real life. Brusspup also informed us how he achieved the reverse motion effect seen toward the end of the video.

"If you adjust the frequency to 23Hz but the camera is still recording at 24 frames per second, now there is a slight difference between each frame and the position of the water, causing the effect of the water moving backward," said Brusspup.

About the author

Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.

 

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