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Mercury Polo

Water Polo, but played in a pool of Hg
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Archimedes Principle states that when a body is placed in a liquid, this body will displace a volume of liquid, such that the mass of the body, and the mass of the volume of liquid displaced are equal.....

Not unlike water polo, a game of this sort should be played (while wearing special suits!) in a pool of mercury, say, 3 feet deep. Our bodies are about 0.95 g/cm3 (corrections?), and water is 1 g/cm3. Thus, one usually sinks in water up to the head. Hg is 13.5 g/cm3 -- you'd displace 13.5 times less liquid -- and only be submerged mid-shin.

While not allowing players to touch the bottom of the pool, maintaining balance would be quite a feat. One strategy could be to try and "run" through the mercury, while others may opt to lie on the mercury surface to obstruct opponents.

Provided airtight (but A/C'ed) suits are provided, this game could be played. Maybe the suits would have added snowshoe-like devices to help maintain stability.

Wes, Feb 15 2001

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       Wouldn't it still hurt like a muther if you tripped?
centauri, Feb 15 2001
  

       Yes, I guess it would... one more new aspect of the game.
Wes, Feb 15 2001
  

       I don't think ceiling-mounted bungee cords would give the gameplay the same characteristics. One, the bungees would get tangled up. Two, it is the instability of trying to stand in the liquid that I'm going for. Staying upright while floating in water is pretty easy: 95% of your body is submerged. With mercury, only about 7.5% of your body would be submerged. Without touching the bottom of the pool, you'd be constantly trying to maintain an upright position.   

       Another proposition: as a defence, players could scoop up a blob of mercury and fling it at others to obstruct them. Considering its density, this would be a good deterence to holding the ball for very long.
Wes, Feb 15 2001
  

       Wouldn't the greater density of mercury make moving around very slow and tiring? I suspect that the sensible tactic would be to play a passing game, with the players moving as little as possible.
vincebowdren, Feb 15 2001
  

       The Miro Museum in Barcelona has a mercury fountain (or it did, about 10 years ago). Very pretty.
hippo, Feb 15 2001
  

       Water Polo played with a lithium or sodium ball ("Don't let it fall in the water!" - "Aaaaaaargh!").
hippo, Feb 15 2001
  

       Not to spoil the fun, but wouldn't it be a little safer to just add one or more chemicals to water to achieve the desired density of the liquid? You might not be able to get it all the way up to the S.G. of Hg, but you could probably get it pretty high (e.g. the Dead Sea). Since most water polo players aren't big fatties, they probably sink like a stone in regular water, so the real novelty of the game, as I see it, would be the ability to keep a good portion of your body above the free surface without having to tread water. Kind of like innertube water polo without the innertubes...   

       This would also eliminate the need for a special suit to keep you from DYING.   

       P.S. waugsqueke: 15" of Hg would be about the same pressure as 16-17 ft of water; i.e. not painful unless you got your head into it. Of course, if you submerged your head to any depth in mercury, pain in your ears from the pressure would be the least of your
512461062, Apr 11 2001
  

       I think he fell into the pool.
neelandan, Jun 01 2002
  

       //Archimedes Principle states that when a body is placed in a liquid, this body will displace a volume of liquid, such that the mass of the body, and the mass of the volume of liquid displaced are equal.....//   

       Ohurg...   

       No no no no no!   

       When a body is submerged in a liquid it displaces a volume of liquid equal to the volume of the object, regardless of mass, even if the mass of the object is less than the mass of the liquid displaced. This can happen by forced submersion (IE: Holding a balloon underwater).   

       If the object FLOATS it displaces a MASS of liquid equal to the MASS of the object.   

       That said, bun.
DesertFox, Feb 23 2006
  
      
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