Russian scientists use Liquid Nitrogen for ice bucket challenge

The ice bucket challenge is for wimps!

Just when you thought it was over, Russian takes it to a

new level… with LIQUID NITROGEN

  • The bitterly cold liquid has a temperature of minus 195C 
  • But Anton Sharypov, 34, is unafraid to pour a bucket of it over his head
  • ‘I am putting my faith in the laws of physics,’ he says before the challenge 

The ice bucket challenge may seem cool if you live in a place which is usually quite hot, but for those who dwell in a cold climate the idea is probably less impressive.

Like if you lived in chilly Russia, for example, the sensation of tipping a bucket of ice water over your head is probably not dissimilar to leaving the house on a rainy day.

So it’s perhaps no wonder that it’s a Russian scientist who has staged the most spectacular spin yet of the ice bucket challenge – using minus 195 degree Celsius liquid nitrogen.


Seconds earlier he had taken a branch with some leaves from a nearby tree and plunged into the liquid nitrogen, freezing it instantly so it could be crumbled into shards in his hands.

Yet when he pours the liquid nitrogen over his head, instead of freezing himself solid, he simply shakes his head and indicates yes, it is cold, but I’m still here.

The video first appeared on the YouTube channel of Dmitry Shilov as part of a project called ‘What happens if we try this…’

Mr Sharypov said before the challenge: ‘I am putting my faith in the laws of physics, biology and mathematics and I hope nothing will go wrong.’

Just to make sure he is not frozen solid after taking the liquid bath, his friend pokes him to check he is still soft as the intrepid scientist laughs into the camera.

It’s possible for liquid nitrogen to pass on top of human flesh without freezing, because when it is poured onto the human body, something called the Leidenfrost effect comes into play.

This is a phenomenon in which a liquid produces a layer of insulating vapour that prevents the liquid coming into direct contact with a surface significantly hotter than the liquid’s boiling point.

That is to say, because liquid nitrogen has such a low temperature, when it comes in contact with human skin, the temperature difference causes the Leidenfrost effect and it simply skims off the surface of the body.

Similar effects can be seen when water is sprinkled onto a heated pan that is above the water’s Leidenfrost point. The water skitters across the pan and takes longer to evaporate because of the layer of vapour forming around the liquid.

However, if you were to keep your hand in liquid nitrogen and it cooled down to below the Leidenfrost point, it would be subject to the harmful effects of liquid nitrogen as we know it.
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