Geekologie I Watch Stuff The Superficial Hedonistica

Longest Running Experiment Currently On 85th Year

longest-experiment.jpg

The world's longest running experiment was started by Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland in 1927 to prove that tar pitch, a seemingly brittle coal derivative that can be shattered with a hammer at room temperature, is, in fact, a viscous fluid. FUN BONUS FACT: tar pitch is so dark it's the origin of the term "pitch-black"! Thomas melted the coal pitch, let it cool for three years, then placed it in a funnel. The first drop dripped eight years later, followed by another nine after that. Bored-out-of-their-f***ing-minds scientists are currently waiting for drip nine to drop like a stubborn turd. The world's shortest experiment? My peener. "That's not really an experiment." No? Maybe THIS will change your mind. "Stuffing it in a test tube?" Science, ladies and gentlemen!

World's Longest-Running Experiment of the Day [geeks.thedailywh.at]
and
FYI: How Long-Running Is the Longest-Running Lab Experiment? [popsci]

Thanks to Mark, who agrees I should change my name to Science. HA -- I already have.

There are Comments.
  • so is glass still the most viscous fluid out there? or does tar pitch take the cake?

  • Meifu

    Longest running experiment is the Human Race...

  • p_shep
  • So 85 years later and they still haven't haven't decided if it's a viscous fluid or not?

  • Jay

    whats the freekin 9V battery for?

  • Brian Lopez

    For scale

  • Scully1121

    Park Grass Experiment in the UK has been running for 155 years... Also
    nobody has ever actually seen a drop fall from the Pitch experiment.

  • We heard you the first time.

  • Scully1121

    Crappy commenting system... validation emails....clicking like a tard....grrrr

  • Scully1121

    Park Grass Experiment in the UK has been running for 155 years... Also
    nobody has ever actually seen a drop fall from the Pitch experiment.

  • Scully1121

    Park Grass Experiment in the UK has been running for 155 years... Also
    nobody has ever actually seen a drop fall from the Pitch experiment.

  • Scully1121

    Park Grass Experiment in the UK has been running for 155 years... Also nobody has ever actually seen a drop fall from the Pitch experiment.

  • Guest

    Yikes! I rather watch paint dry than this.

  • Does someone sit around and monitor this all day every day?

  • They have a camera fixed on it... now.  Not sure how they monitored it prior to filming, but I guess someone looked at it each day and said "oh wow, more has dropped off now".  I love taking my science students to see this, just for the history of it, and knowing that it was set up all those years ago.  But I didn't love lectures in the Parnell Building, with its uncomfortable chairs and distracting half-way up the wall door placement.

  • Back in the day, would-be scientists had to cut their teeth by taking the graveyard shift to watch this experiment.

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