When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the fact that an everyday, ordinary potato could generate an electrical charge. It wasn’t much of a charge, but it was still a charge. Turns out, the spud isn’t the only item in the produce aisle that’s capable of delivering a little power. Watermelons can also be used to power electronic devices, including being used to charge your smartphone.
I wouldn’t have believed it myself until a friend sent me a link to this video (Note: The video is entertaining, but it does contain some not-safe-for-work-or-kids language). If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s a basic rundown:
If you partially submerge a medium-sized watermelon in a bath of salty ice water and plug your smartphone charger into the rind, it’s supposed to generate enough electricity to charge your phone (albeit extremely slowly). The first attempt in the video didn’t work. They added more ice and more salt, and — wow! — it worked!
Skeptical, I watched several more “watermelon phone charger” videos on YouTube, and each of the attempts failed miserably. I began to wonder if the first video was some sort of prank or, in some way, a flawed experiment.
With that in mind, and desperately wanting this to actually work, I decided to perform the experiment for myself.
NOTE: If you try this experiment for yourself, make sure you wipe off your phone charger’s prongs (the metal parts that plug into the wall) and remove any moisture before plugging it for normal use!
Here’s how it all went down:
For this experiment, you’ll need to fill a medium-sized basin with cold water, plenty of ice, a generous serving of salt and one watermelon. The salt, as anyone who’s made ice cream will tell you, allows the water to get super cold. Don’t ask me how or why, but it does.
I vowed to wait about 10 minutes, but the anticipation was killing me, so I plugged in after only five minutes. The result was disappointing. There was no little “charging” lightning bolt next to the battery indicator on my phone. I unplugged the charger and plugged it into a different part of the watermelon. Still nothing.
Guessing that this experiment required the watermelon to be REALLY cold, I added more ice and more salt, and vowed to give it another shot in 30 minutes.
I really wanted this experiment to work but, sadly, it did not. I plugged my phone back into the watermelon and my confused phone registered no indication that it was receiving any power from the watermelon. Oh well, at least I’ve got an ice cold watermelon to show for my efforts!
NOTE: Like I mentioned earlier, if you try the experiment for yourself, make sure you wipe off your phone charger’s prongs (the metal parts that plug into the wall) and remove any moisture before plugging it for normal use!
UP NEXT: The 2015 watermelon festival calendar