Dye Droplet

A drop of fluorescent dye falling into quiescent water forms fantastical structures that are a mixture of vorticity, turbulence, and molecular diffusion. The horseshoe-like shape near the front of the drop is a typical shape for two fluids strained by moving past one another. The main section of the drop billows outward like a parachute, but the turbulence of its wake stretches the dye into fine threads that quickly disperse in the water. (Photo credit: D. Quinn et al.)

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