Silly Putty is pretty much the best non-Newtonian viscoelastic liquid we can think of--it stretches, it bounces, it transfers ink, it's reminiscent of mussel fibers, and it can be broken with a sharp blow. But what if it's blended with magnetic powder? Turns out magnetic Silly Putty has an unquenchable hunger for magnets.
Instructables posted a guide to creating your own magnetic Silly Putty. It's pretty simple, basically requiring you to slowly fold ferric iron oxide powder (which can be found in art supply shops) into a clump of Silly Putty. After it's been thoroughly magnetized (and dyed black, thanks to the powder), it will stretch and move like a thick liquid magnet, reaching to get to the small magnets used in this video.
It gets a bit unnerving when a magnet is placed directly on the side of the newly magnetic Silly Putty--the Putty seems to eat and then digest the magnet, pulling it inside itself in slow motion like some kind of unfathomable science-fiction horror creature. Make sure to watch until the end to see its creepiness on display.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.