- Jun 26, 2020
- Reaction score
It is rare; thus, how notable the video.
I am mainly curious about the chronology of the video. Was the bottle immediately extracted as portrayed on camera? Or, did it lie in the sun on the surface for awhile before the extraction was recreated for the camera? If the bottle lay in the sun building pressure before being re-submerged in cold water for an reenactment, that is quite a different situation from what is presented.
Taking the video at face value, as a true extraction from in situ conditions, then I'm certain that pressure was already elevated in that bottle before it was brought into the warm air and heat of the digger's hand. Microbial processes in the bottle's contents probably contributed most of the gas pressure. If the bottle was extracted from more than a foot submerged under water, the pressure of the water itself was at least half a pound per square inch. There are so many variables in non-homogeneous soil that I don't know how one would even begin to calculate the ground pressure; but there was undoubtedly some that the bottle was under before the pit was excavated. The form of the bottle also contributed to the failure--a cylinder form would be much stronger inherently, even a square cross-section would, than the two broad panels of a whiskey flask shape. Bringing the bottle into the warmer and lower-pressure environment was just a classic "last straw" failure.
The first thing I thought of when I saw that video was that the organic contents had been decomposing and producing gasses for 130+ years which built up pressure due to the tight cork. Combine this with the thin glass and temperature differential and it became a bomb.