The Disintegrating Bowl

A viscous fluid droplet impacts a thin layer of ethanol, which has a lower surface tension than the viscous fluid. A spray of tiny ethanol droplets is thrown up while a bowl-shaped crown of the viscous fluid forms. As the ethanol droplets impact the bowl, the lower surface tension of the ethanol causes fluid to flow away from points of contact due to the Marangoni effect. This outflow causes holes to form in the crown, forming a network of thin fluid ligaments. For more, see this paper (PDF) and video. (Photo credit: S.T. Thoroddson et al)

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