The question of what mercury looks like confuses many. Despite the fact that this substance belongs to metals, outwardly it bears little resemblance to the form familiar to many. In nature, there are no other metals that are in a liquid state of aggregation at room temperature. And yet, mercury really looks like a thick, viscous liquid that looks like molten silver. A characteristic feature of this substance is a light gray metallic luster that does not tarnish or darken from external influences.
As a liquid, mercury is also not quite typical: its density is 13 546 kg/m3. This means that just a 1 liter jar of this liquid metal will weigh about the same as a bucket of water. And only a professional weightlifter can lift a bucket of mercury, because his weight is as much as 162 kg! However, in domestic conditions, such an amount of mercury, fortunately, does not occur.
At temperatures above 18 degrees, this substance becomes extremely volatile, quickly releasing vapors that are dangerous to humans. Even knowing what mercury looks like, in a gaseous state, you, unfortunately, will not be able to detect it in any way – toxic vapors have neither color nor smell. That is why it is important to take urgent and competent action in case of spills and other accidents associated with this chemical. more…
Knowing what mercury looks like, it will not be difficult to recognize the metal that has flowed out, for example, from a broken thermometer, and quickly collect it in a sealed jar. Do not forget that this substance spreads very quickly, breaking up into many microscopic balls. Therefore, do not even try to collect everything to the smallest particle – you still will not succeed. In a fraction of a second, the smallest drops of mercury will flow under the plinth, into the cracks between the parquet, drive into the carpet, upholstery and other textiles. The only way to remove them from there and stop the release of toxic compounds into the air is to demercurize the room.