Stick figures have captivated the internet. These weren’t just any stick figures, but ones that seemingly came to life when splashed with a pool of water. Was water such an elemental force it could animate stick figures? Was that one SpongeBob episode about DoodleBob a real thing?
With all the fake news going around, you’d be forgiven for believing this was some hoax. But YouTuber Steve Mould explained that the trick can be explained by the science of erasable markers.
Whereas permanent markers, like a Sharpie, contain ink that utilizes a strong adhesive so it can stick to any surface, the ink of dry-erase markers uses a minimal adhesive so it can be wiped away.
Mould also claims that the ink is insoluble, meaning it won’t be dissolved in liquid and less dense than water. This is why, when the water pours over the stick figure, it slowly peels off its surface and rises to the top.
Somehow, knowing the science behind this illusion doesn’t make it any less incredible. Because even knowing the truth doesn’t translate to the world making more sense.