droplets

Water is pretty wild when you think about it: all of its three states of matter are consumable by humans, and one in particular can even give off electrical power. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has discovered that when water condenses on and spontaneously jumps back and forth between specially-treated copper plates, it picks up an electrical charge. To fully take advantage of this ability, said scientists built a machine that harnesses said charge and uses it to create electricity. The researchers admit that yield is low for now, predicting that a cellphone would take around 12 hours to fully charge, but, as MIT News points out, if you're off the grid, there isn't much else of a choice for electricity anyway. One possible drawback of this method, though, is that it inherently requires a humid environment, like a rainforest, for it to work. We'd imagine that a New York summer would suffice, too.

[Image credit: paul goyette/Flickr]