Water seemingly harmless substance. And it happens that the water explodes, like gunpowder. Yes that gunpowder! Water is much more dangerous than gunpowder, if not be able to handle it.
There was a case, when the water blew up a house in five floors and killed 23 people. It was in America years in the first half of the last century.
How could this happen?
The fact that the house was factory. On the lower floor was umasan in a big oven a huge pot. When the oven is heated, the water in the pot was boiling, and the steam was coming down the pipe in a steam machine.
Once the engineer and you did not disappoint in time of water. In the boiler water remained quite small, and the stove continued to burn. From this boiler walls were heated. The driver hadn't thought of that - took and started the water in the hot pot.
And you know what happens when you pour water on a red-hot iron? It is all at once immediately into steam. The same thing happened here. Water all turned into steam, and as it was very much, the boiler broke down and burst.
Have been worse: in Germany one day immediately exploded 22 of the boiler! All the houses were destroyed. The wreckage of the boilers was lying at a distance of a mile from the explosion.
At the dawn of the era of steam power, explosions of steam boilers, for example, locomotives and ships, happened quite often because there were no sufficient knowledge in the field of thermodynamics, as well as in the field of strength of materials.
The explosion of a boiler on the ship "Lucy Walker" in 1844
What a terrible thing water vapor.
French science fiction writer Jules Verne, creating his novel "the Mysterious island", used knowledge about the destructive power of water vapor. His characters are trapped on an island in the center of which was a volcano, but under the island to the volcano ran a huge underwater cave. Thus, the crater of the volcano was separated from the ocean only a stone wall. In the final novel, the volcano, which the colonists believed extinct, suddenly woke up and began to erupt. From the internal pressure of gases and lava wall that separated him from the ocean, cracked, and tons of ocean water rushed into the volcano. In the whole island exploded, as the steam boiler, which you read about in the beginning of this article. Here's what he wrote Jules Verne:
Many already thought of that, maybe you can put out the volcanoes that almost all perched on the shores of seas or lakes, open water access to these volcanoes. But those who think so do not understand that this part of the world would explode, as a steam boiler, which is shot from a gun. Water, rushing in an enclosed space, where the temperature reaches several thousand degrees, would turn to steam, and will produce this amount of energy, which would not stand the hard shell.
If you ever saw it crackling in the fire, know that the wood cracking, because they explode water. Very dry wood does not happen, the moisture in the wood is always there. From the intense heat water into steam and crackling breaks the fibers of the wood.
In preparing the articles used book M Rollin "Tales of things" (M, 1962)