This video is definitely worth five minutes of your time. Steve Mould does something really simple -- takes a really long beaded chain in a beaker, and drops the chain over the side. And what happens is pretty magical, so he films it in slow motion and explains, very clearly, why it happens.
What are you seeing here? Part of it is simply gravity: the weight of the chain that's hanging over the side is pulling the rest of the chain over. Part of it is waves in the motion of the chain. Part of it is the fact that the chain can't change direction infinitely quickly. And all of it will, as io9 puts it (http://io9.com/this-is-the-bead-chain-experiment-its-about-to-melt-y-602029455
), melt your brain.
via +Jennifer Ouellette
, who finds the coolest damned stuff on the Internet. If you're not following her, you should be.