Just add water!

Our writer Hatori Go was enjoying a nice afternoon at home when it suddenly dawned on him: It’s Christmas! The culture-surfing man of the world he is, Go is unfettered by holidays and was caught off guard when he heard ol’ Saint Nick was heading back into town.

“This calls for a trip to the 100 yen store!” declared Go as he headed back to his favorite cluster of cheap catchall merchants. Readers of this site know will know all about Go’s many product tests, conducted on 100-yen items ranging from stretch belts to wigs, but this time was different. Now, he was on the lookout for something Christmassy.

Luckily, it didn’t take long for him to stumble on the perfect thing. You see, one reason Christmas took Go by surprise was the sunny and relatively balmy 10-degrees Celsius (50-degrees Farenheit) weather in Tokyo. But not anymore, thanks to – Instant Snow!

The package even said “Merry Christmas” on it. That was all Go needed to read to part with his 100-yen coin and take this suspicious looking packet of white powder home.

According to the label, this powder was seven grams (1/4 oz) of sodium polyacrylate; a super-absorbant substance used in diapers and those toys that grow when you put them in water. But today it was to be used to create a winter wonderland in Go’s apartment.

The picture on the package showed a small dish of powder erupting into an overflowing mountain of crisp alpine snow. This really got Go excited for what was sure to be a dramatic Christmas-themed science experiment.

First he poured the powder into a glass dish usually used for kakigori, Japanese-style shaved ice.

Then he added some water and prepared cameras at multiple angles so he could catch all of the frosty fireworks that were about to happen.

Then, just as Go hit the button for a Hitchcockian zoom-in…


What appeared to be a bowl of hair gel sat lifeless in front of our bemused reporter.

This was not the Christmas he had envisioned all those minutes ago.

Then, he remembered that he was supposed to stir the mixture evenly, as instructed by the package. He had been so seduced by the pictures he forgot that part.

It only took a little whisking with a chopstick before fluffy flakes began to pop up. It wasn’t quite the geyser of snow that he hoped for, but it was kind of neat.

However, after he picked it up he felt very uncomfortable. This snow was missing its one defining characteristic: It wasn’t cold.

Instead, it felt like a handful of moist salt, or like a coarsely grated Japanese radish. Even for those two things, though, it still felt uncomfortably warm and a little sticky. This snow was clearly just for looking at rather than for fun and frolic.

Anyway, he had to do something with it, so here’s picture of the Instant Snow with a cat.

And here’s what a 1965 Ford Shelby Mustang Gt350 would look like cruising through a bank of fresh artificial snow.

While it does look like snow, it also looks a lot like salt, so it’s probably not good for sledding or snowball fights, especially if you have open wounds. But, as the package suggests, if you’re into making dioramas, this stuff would probably fit the bill.

So, um, Merry Christmas?

Images: SoraNews24
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