How MARY POPPINS Flies & More – Ask Kyle (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)


On today’s episode, we have questions about
swimming like Scrooge, getting real vampire disease, and flying like Mary Poppins. Let’s
get started! Lamont Phillips on youtube asks: Can you swim
in a pool of money like Scrooge McDuck? You can’t compress water. Try to change
it’s volume by squeezing it and it just won’t work. But you can still dive safely
into a pool. Why? Well, water may be incompressible but is still
enough of a fluid for it to move out of your way as you displace it in a pool. Metal coins?
Not so much. Metal coins are like individual particles
that are too large to slide between and displace like you can water molecules. So if you tried
to dive into a vault of coins like Scrooge McDuck, you’d probably break your neck.
Uh oh. Thanks for your question! Now, what else do
you have for me? @2ndtierguardian asks: Would you explain the
science behind vampirism or lycanthropy? Let’s look at vampirism and lycanthropy
together. More specifically, let’s look at the extreme sensitivity to light and odd
hair growth. In 1889, Dutch physician B.J. Stokvis described
a clinical condition called “porphyria.” There are many different versions of this
condition, but they all come from a failure of our body to accurately create heme, which
turns our blood red and helps transport oxygen as a part of hemoglobin. When something in heme production fails, then
these pigments can build up in you skin and can turn your pee purple. Unfortunately for those who suffer from this
condition, these pigments can also be extremely sensitive to light, and exposure to it can
lead to severe skin lesions and scarring. Another form of porphyria can induce hair
growth on the face. Folklorists disagree, but these various conditions might be the
origin of our vampire and werewolf myths. What’s next? @turryisturry asks: How big does the umbrella
have to be to fly like Mary Poppins? Let’s take your question a bit differently.
Since we know that Mary Poppins is floating around on a normal-sized umbrella, what kind
of wind would we need to send her up, up in the atmosphere? One of my favorite scientific journals is
the Journal of Physics Special Topics, published by a bunch of students at the University of
Leicester in England. Four years ago, they tackled this very question. First you have to assume the surface area
of the umbrella, and how much weight needs to be lifted with that umbrella, or maybe
around 590 newtons. With this weight, you can estimate the air
pressure needed, and therefore the wind speed. It turns out that if the umbrella could withstand
it, a straight up gust of 37 miles per hour or the maximum wind speed ever recorded in
England — 118 miles per hour – at a degree of about 18 degrees could lift up a magical
nanny. Again than you so much for all your questions,
and you can always send me more on twitter @sci_phile and I’ll will keep answering
them. Why? Because Science! Woo! Ah! Want more science? Check out my last video
on what a real life Cupid would actually look like, make sure to click to subscribe for
more videos, and if you have any comments or questions hit me up in the comments section
below. Thanks!

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