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What Happens If You Photocopy Water?

We get it, you’re bored. You’ve run out of things to do, so instead you start searching random questions on the internet, and then you’re down a YouTube rabbit hole of things you never thought you needed to know, but you have to know the answer to right now.

One of those questions is probably, “What happens when you photocopy water?” You’ve seen people photocopy their asses, animals, and other weird stuff. But what of the water? Luckily, you’re not the first person to wonder about this — and someone else has already tested it.

The question started after this video started to circulate on the Internet.

A video posted by YouTuber Ceapa Cool seemed to promise to answer the question, and from the looks of his uploaded videos, it seems that photocopying things is a huge part of his content for his 149,000 subscribers. Some of his other popular videos include “What happens if you photocopy fire,” “What happens if you photocopy money,” and “What happens if you photocopy a mirror”—so clearly, this guy’s a pro.

In the 37-second video, he starts by pouring water onto the copying tray, and while you’re trying not to cling to potential water damage to the machine, he pushes the start button. He chooses not to close the lid — possibly to keep the shape of the water puddle on the screen, and the copier scans it.

But instead of rewarding viewers with the answer to what the water looks like when you photocopy it, the machine starts spraying the water. Clearly, this is meant to be a joke. Since then, the video has been viewed more than four million times, but most viewers still want to know what happens when you photocopy water.

What actually happens when you photocopy water?

In the comments, Ceapa Cool explained what actually happens when you photocopy water to the viewers who were still asking.

“For people who are curious: nothing interesting actually happens when you photocopy water. It only prints the outline of the puddle,” he wrote in the comments. But just because he explained what’s going on doesn’t mean we don’t want to see it. Luckily, YouTuber Modi Adams is giving us a real answer.

In the video, Modi takes two water-value caps and gently places them on the copy screen. Instead of leaving it open, he props the cover up on the highlighter, so it’s mostly closed, but it doesn’t touch the water.

The end result is exactly as Ceapa Cool predicted: the photocopy shows the outline of the water puddle and not much more. In Modi’s video, he points out that the photocopy makes the paper look wet, giving it an interesting effect.

By Geraoma - Own work, Public Domain,

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Office Machine Specialists has been servicing and selling office equipment since 1995. A family run business that has dedicated our efforts to providing the best equipment options and after-sales service to our clients. Our goal is to ask the right questions and guide our customers to make smart decisions about new machine leases and purchases.  We were servicing copiers long before the internet was a viable resource, and have transitioned to the digital workflow environment of color printing, scanning, account control and fleet management. With over 20 years in the industry we have extensive experience with many brands and consider OMS to be a valuable resource to any organization. Contact us for all of your copier needs here!