(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
A new video from Sci-Fly's Joey Shanks shows magnetic putty swallowing up a bunch of different objects.
Magnetic putty is a bit like Blu-tack or plasticine: you can mould it with your hands, make it into shapes and stick it to things. But there's a difference, and the clue is in the name: it's been mixed with magnetic iron oxide powder and will react with ferromagnetic materials, doing its best to envelop them completely.
We've seen, of course, YouTube videos of magnetic putty before, but nothing like this one. Made by Joey Shanks and PBS Digital Studios, it's four minutes and 15 seconds of watching magnetic putty swallow metal objects like some hideous alien ooze.
That's sort of the idea that Shanks had, too. His stop-motion short film Sci-Fly uses zero digital effects, relying instead on the fascinating properties of substances in the world around us, such as dry ice, to create wondrous practical effects.
We're a bit in love with magnetic putty now — it belongs in the same league as Gallium, a metal that melts at 29.77°C, and Ferrofluid, a liquid magnetic substance.
If you want some magnetic putty of your own, you can pick it up from ThinkGeek; or, if you have access to magnetic iron oxide powder, you can have a crack at making it yourself.
And if you're looking for more science fun, check out our favourite toys for mad scientists.