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Slow-Mo Video Reveals Raindrops on Sand Behave Like Asteroid Impacts

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There's little more atmospheric than striding out across a beech in the driving rain—but what's happening as those rain drops smash into the sand beneath your feet?

This video, created by researchers from University of Minnesota, shows how drops of water landing on microscopic glass beads—just like the particles of sand on a beach—affect what lies beneath. Depending on the momentum of the drops, they can leave a wide variety of craters, as the video shows. Interestingly, it turns out that rain drops landing in sand behave in much the same was as asteroid impacts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the video below won the 2014 APS Physics Fluid Motion Award. [arXiv via Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics]