Microwave Oven and Water

Is the story of water exploding in a microwave oven true — or is it an urban legend or hoax?

Microwave Oven and Water

I feel that the following is information that any one who uses a microwave
oven to heat water should be made aware of.

About five days ago my 26-year old son decided to have a cup of instant coffee. He
took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he
had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for but
he told me he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off,
he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup he noted that the water
was not boiling but instantly the water in the cup "blew up" into his face.
The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand but all the water had flew
out into his face due to the buildup of energy. His whole face is blistered and he
has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring. He also may have
lost partial sight in his left eye.

While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this a fairly
common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If
water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse
the energy such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc. It is however a much safer
choice to boil the water in a tea kettle. Please pass this information on to friends
and family.

Editors Note: Actually there is some truth about water explosion if you get
the conditions just right. Check out Unwise Microwave Oven Experiments for more details on using microwaves.

Don’t do this at home!

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