Watching Pitch Flow. An Embarrassment of Pitches. Pitch Dad, Poor Dad. Bitumen to Say “Asphalt”?

Last time I briefly mentioned the famous Pitch Drop experiment currently running over at the University of Queensland in Australia. I use the term experiment lightly, as it’s more of a demonstration or curiosity than a strict experiment. Not to mention there are no controls to speak of, and as a result, the rate at which the drops have fallen has fluctuated over the years due to environmental factors. For example, the display cabinet it now sits in is air conditioned, slowing the fall.

But I digress. As a curiosity, the Pitch Drop is one of the best. Going 86 years strong, it is predicted to have at least another hundred years worth of pitch in the funnel. It still has a ways to go to beat some of the other long-term scientific powerhouses such as the Oxford Electric Bell* (1840) or the Beverly Clock (1864), but I feel it has more comedic value. Paint dries at an alarmingly fast rate compared to the Pitch Drop. Grass growing is wild and exciting in comparison.

Photo taken shortly after the 6th Drop

Science Gone Wild

You can learn more about the experiment and view the live webcam here.

Too boring? Try a version of the experiment at home with the Putty Drop! 


*Bet that joke makes sense now.

By the way: In the “Why Did We Miss the Pitch Drop” section, three of the reasons are true. Can you guess which ones?



Shit just got real on Strip Search.