Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Your storm glass update

As you remember, yesterday The Nine-Year-Old and I tried to reset our storm glass, with rather surprising results. A couple of hours after the official experiment had ended, I wandered into the office to find the once-clear storm glass looking like this:

(Photo: Shala Howell)

12:17 p.m. The Storm Glass Apocalypse. Or as The Nine-Year-Old prefers to call it: The Storm Glass Eclipse. (Photo: Shala Howell)

Had applying so much heat for so long changed the character of the storm glass entirely? Would the ferns ever grow back? Or would the storm glass look like this forever?

We checked on the glass pretty obsessively all afternoon, but didn’t notice much real progress until the evening. At 5:41 p.m. yesterday, it looked like this:

(Photo: Shala Howell)

Five hours and 24 minutes later. (Photo: Shala Howell)

That was hopeful. The Nine-Year-Old and I closed out our day hoping that time would heal our glass.

Sure enough, by 10:11 this morning, the dense mass of crystals had retreated enough to allow a couple of brave little ferns:

(Photo: Shala Howell)

22 hours and 55 minutes later. (Photo: Shala Howell)

It still has a long way to go, but to answer yesterday’s question: yes, our storm glass will eventually have room for those lovely giant ferns again.

Oh, the things that make me happy in winter.

Related Links: 

2 Responses to “Your storm glass update”

  1. toto

    I had a storm glass for two years and it had been doing well on top of a small bench under a shed.
    I put it under the shed because I think it will be more accurate when it is in the outdoor area. I also checked to be sure that it is not exposed to direct sunlight as the instruction mentioned. however, when I later went to study abroad, my father decided to move the bench to the edge of the shed. In that position, I reckon the storm glass was exposed to direct sunlight every morning for 3~5 hours at least. When I finally came back home, the liquid inside the storm glass is clear, but there is a layer of orangish brown oil floating on top. Did the direct sunlight “break” my storm glass? If so, is it possible for me to fix it? Thanks!


    • Shala Howell

      Well that’s weird. Has the glass been compromised in some way? Is it possible stuff could have gotten in it?

      If not, it sounds like some sort of heat-induced chemical reaction may have taken place. Unfortunately I don’t know if the typical reset procedure (use a hair dryer to heat the contents up until the liquid is clear, then let it cool) would make this better or worse. Have you tried it?

      Sadly, I’m not a storm glass professional — just a professionally curious person — so I won’t be of much help here. My only other thought would be to contact the manufacturer of your glass to see what’s inside/if they have any suggestions for how to proceed. Wish I could be of more help. I’d love to know what you find out.



What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: