Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nature Notes: Exploding Chicken Eggs

  Where have all the eggs gone?!  A common question asked to the Land School chickens.  Turns out, they were hiding... and exploding, winter style.
  In the summer, eggs that go undiscovered explode (or seem to) from gas build up, producing a sulfer odor akin to the geysers of Yellowstone.  In the winter, the explosion is not  as smelly because the eggs are actually freezing.  The yolks and whites are made up of about 75% water; the albumen, or the whites, are almost 90% water.  Since water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) and is the only molecule that expands as it solidifies, the eggs too will freeze.  
  But why does it expand?  Because, unlike all other molecules that reorganize themselves as they cool creating symmetry and increased order, water is molecularly more symmetrical in liquid form versus solid form.  Ice actually takes up 9% more space than liquid water. If water is in an airtight container, as it freezes, the ice is powerful enough to crack the container, be it water bottle, pipes in your house, or eggshells at the Land School.
  The following are some pictures I found last week of some frozen eggs.



Recently discovered clutch of 44 eggs, 38 of which were frozen.

No comments:

Post a Comment