A Dollar Tree manager seemed utterly gobsmacked by a science experiment a customer appears to have pulled off using an upturned and opened bottle of Hawaiian Punch and even though they were left with a mess to clean up, they were nonetheless left impressed by their find.
Shan (@wittheshit36) uploaded footage of the experiment on their TikTok account where her video went viral, raking in over 1.3 million likes and tons of views.
"Y'all, look at this," she says at the beginning of the clip, showing off the Dollar Tree store shelf. There's an upturned bottle of Hawaiian Punch resting on the counter, with a bit of liquid missing from the bottle, but that's not what makes Shan flip out in the video.
It's the fact that the bottle doesn't have a cap and is resting on a shelf with perforated holes in it, but all of its contents haven't entirely spilled onto the shelf beneath it.
There are just a few droplets of the juice resting on the underside of the shelf beneath it. "It's open, it's open," Shan says. "I mean, it sucks to have to be the one to clean this up, but I'm just wondering how they did it. Kinda cool."
So how did this phenomenon occur? Sure, you could chalk it up to surface tension, but what stopped the juice from pouring through the holes on the shelf?
The Cool Science Experiments Headquarters delineates how surface tension works on an upside-down glass of water and a thick sheet of paper to demonstrate the surface tension phenomenon, but that still doesn't explain how the juice didn't spill through the shelf's openings.
It could have something to do with the high fructose corn syrup in Hawaiian Punch, which may give the juice a thicker consistency of water. That, coupled with the radius of the bottle's opening placed over the shelf may also have something to do with it too.
Maybe the pranksters put a piece of shrink wrap over the bottle cap as well, but in the brief snippet of the video where the Dollar Tree manager shows the Hawaiian Punch bottle, it doesn't appear that there's anything added to the lid/spout area.
Judging from the comments penned by folks who watched the video, there were a number of people who were convinced that whatever was going on with the bottle that surface tension had a lot to do with it: "People are committing surface tension violations in a dollar tree!? That’s gotta be jail"
Another person tried providing a pseudo-science surface tension explanation that started off strong, but then soon devolved into a capitulation that they ultimately didn't know what they were talking about: "Basically due to the surface tension and mass of the shelf and the volume of the liquid allows for the I have no idea what am talking about."
And there were others who said that they've come across some inexplicable phenomena in the Dollar Tree stores that they frequent as well, like this individual who couldn't seem to figure out how so many little plastic Green Army Men toys ended up on the ceiling.
"My dollar tree has a growing collection of plastic army men stuck in the ceiling. Still wondering how they got there"
And then there were folks who seemed just as impressed as Shan that folks were busting out some scientific experimental phenomena in the middle of the dollar store: "Not them conducting science experiments in your store"
But one former Dollar Tree employee said that whatever they saw going on in Shan's place of work defies logic, even by Dollar Tree standards: "as a former dollar tree employee, the store is a whole nother dimension, that's a glitch upon thousands of glitches. nothing makes sense there"
And even someone who was able to explain/understand the surface tension theory still seemed a bit baffled by the size of the holes in the shelf: "It works by surface tension. Normally this is done with a small piece of mesh. It is impressive they got it to work with the size of the holes"