Culture: Art: Fountain
Sand and Pebble Fountain   (+3)  [vote for, against]
Throwing rocks in the name of art.

Dry sand can be made to exhibit fluid properties by blowing air through it from the bottom. If you do this to a tray of sand and add some pebbles to it, the pebbles will float to the surface pushed by the movement of the air (and the fact that they have a lower mass to cross-sectional area ratio than the sand). Also, the surface of the sand can be made to slope (and floating objects to float downhill) by varying the pressure of the blown air across the bottom of the sand. OK, enough theory.

The sand and pebble fountain would have a base layer of fluid sand and pebble mix made to slope from the middle to the outside. At the edge of the fountain the pebbles would be gathered by the slope of the rim and fed through a tube under the sand to the centre of the fountain. For there the pebbles would be thrown as high up into the air as wind and safety would allow, splashing back through the sandy surface of the fountain. They would then float to the surface, out to the edge, and the cycle would continue.
-- st3f, Mar 31 2003

A "water feature" for a zen garden. Love it.
-- Guy Fox, Mar 31 2003

Put one next to a golf course to confuse the hell out of the course warden when a ball ends up in there.
-- krelnik, Mar 31 2003

Perfect for what we here in Arizona call "desert landscaping". Talk about low water usage! (+)
-- half, Mar 31 2003

Kind of a cat jacuzzi?
-- Loris, Mar 31 2003

not one to celebrate in on New Years Eve though. +1
-- po, Mar 31 2003

Loris... now I'm imagining a litterbox designed like this. Only those aren't pebbles.
-- waugsqueke, Mar 31 2003

-- bristolz, Mar 31 2003

Fluid bed technology.
-- DrCurry, Mar 31 2003

Do those sinking pebbles belong there, or have I lost my marbles?
-- FarmerJohn, Mar 31 2003

random, halfbakery