Aqua Sand: Sand That Never Gets Wet?
Sand that doesn't get wet?!?!? I don't understand how this works! It's crazy, it makes no sense, and I don't like it. Not one bit, I tells ya!
It's magic! Burn it!
But it probably wouldn't burn either.
So... in the interest of not stirring up a village full of torch carrying zealots, I decided to figure out what makes Aqua Sand work.
Well, after watching the video it still looks like magic to me. Just look at all of the sparkles and the crazed, almost possessed look on those kids' faces. And that crazy music!
So I dug a bit deeper (pun intended) to dispel this disturbing notion of the use of the black arts in a kid's toy.
It turns out that Aqua Sand is made by covering plain beach sand with particles of a silicon compound called trimethylhyroxysilane. Since the grains of sand are covered with this hydrophobic material, they repel water. When exposed to water the grains will initially float until weighed down enough to break the surface. When it sinks it forms columns, thus reducing the surface area exposed to water. When removed from the water it dries almost instantly and flows like dry sand again.
So... no magic. But I'm not entirely convinced. Just look at this kid's face:
Want to make columns of pretty sand in water? If so, you can look at all the various types of Aqua Sand at Amazon! They have fun options like Aqua Sand Polar Playground (which got the best reviews overall), Aqua Sand Light-up Kingdom, Aqua Sand Ocean Adventure, Aqua Sand Creation Kit - Mermaid, as well as your basic Aqua Sand Starter Kit.