Phenomena

Weaponizing Water-Repellency

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St. Pauli, a neighborhood in the German city of Hamburg, has demonstrated one of the most unusual applications of superhydrophobicity I’ve ever heard of. St. Pauli is known as a party district, and the residents of the area have grown understandably frustrated with inebriated visitors publicly urinating on their buildings and, yes, playgrounds. When fines failed to curb the issue, they took to treating walls chemically to make them superhydrophobic. As the targeted audience has discovered, water repellency tends to make liquid jets bounce off rather than run down a surface. Well played, St. Pauli. (Video credit: IG St. Pauli; submitted by entropy-perturbation)

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