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Blue-Burning Marsh Bubbles

I have just begun shooting a book for Storey Publishing which will be called,  Kids’ Power!  …  Harness the Sun · Catch the Wind · Crank Up the Power · Take Charge · and Turn Nature’s Forces into Energy, by Michael J. Caduto. When I saw the shot list, the little boy in me smiled, and I couldn’t wait to get started.

The kids who were recruited to participate in the activities have been great and very patient as I try to get the exposures just right, and in this case, to capture bubbles emerging from a funnel into a mason jar.

Michael Caduto gathering the gas from the muck below

I’ve always noticed bubbles emerging from the bottom of ponds and swamps when fishing from a boat or dock, but never realized that it was methane, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide created from the organic material that was being decomposed by the bacteria in the muck. In this activity Michael shows us how to stir up the gas with a foot while capturing the gas with a funnel and a jar. As the gas rises it displaces the liquid. Then the fun part…

Lighting the collected marsh gas

We got the shot, but then I wanted to capture the full effect in video mode. Click here for the video, and turn up the speakers to hear the kids reaction 😉