What Else Floats?

[Monty Phython]

  1. Lead, lead!

  2. Very small rocks?

  3. A Church!


Apparently volcanic pumice – 10,000 square miles of rock, bobbing on the surface of the sea.

I was disappointed that none of it was in a chunk large enough to properly be called an island. A naturally occurring floating island that you could theoretically walk around on would be neat. Still, it’s a massive amount of foamed rock, which is kind of impressive in itself–or, at least, my mental image of its formation is rather spectacular.


There’s a Jello-O recipe book (reproduced in one of James Lileks’ books) that lists fruitsand other goodies you might want to entomb in Joll-O from those which don’t (although Jell-O is, I recognize, more dense than water).

A needle (if you do it carefully)
(and so, presumably, would very small rocks)
Lithium, sodium, potassium, cesium, and lithium hydride. All while reacting with the water, releasing hydrogen, and then setting it on fire (actually, the LiH won’t)

Build a bridge out of it!

Can we really call that floating? It’s more like rocket propulsion.

Nitpicks aside, dropping a tiny fragment of sodium in a styrofoam cup of water is fun.

My grade school science teacher used to do that a couple of times a year as a ‘reward’ for us.

Nope – it’s floating. all of those are less dense than water.

If it were reaction, the metal could be reacting under water and possibly shooting in different directions.* It’s not the reaction products that are keeping the alkali metals out of water, it’s the low density.

Try strapping the alkali metal to something dense, like someone who’s not a witch, and see that it doesn’t float.

Root beer

It doesn’t float, the ice cream floats.

Cesium won’t float (in water). Its density is 1.87 g/mL.

Cool stuff, though. Its color is like gold’s, which makes it one of the three oddly colored metals.

We all float down here!

Bodies, if you don’t weigh them down right. Not that I know anything about that. Uh…yeah.

I can’t believe I’m the first to mention the irony of a thread about things that float being started buy a guy (gal?) named Sailboat.


Huh? Sodium is about twice as dense as water.


Sodium floats in water.

Your reference says that sodium has 0.97 the density of water.

A very important point about this is that floating pumice islands could have transported life forms across oceans and been a significant factor in the particular path that evolution has followed.

You know those big things in parades that look like something weird and people stand on? Those are really poorly named.

I’m banned from Macy’s for life.

Anything that displaces enough water floats. Here are concrete ships: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_ship