Have you ever made ice cream?

And have you ever discovered a physical phenomenon?

Well, Mr. Erasto Mpemba happened to do both at the same time.

1963, Magamba, a rural village in Mozambique. The kids from the local middle school practice ice cream-making.

Erasto is late: he enters the classrom out of breath. He must do quick to catch his classmates up.

There is no time to chill the ingredients before putting them in the freezer as the other kids did. He then decides to throw them in just warm as they are.

And here’s the surprise: his preparation is the one that freezes first.

Erasto will ask his teachers for a few years how was that possible. But no one will be able to give him an answer. A few years later, a professor, replicating the experiment, decided to publish the results.

The reason for this is not yet clear. What is known, however, is that the phenomenon is called the Mpempa Effect.

In conclusion: I sell used ice cream machines. Either you’re aiming for the Nobel prize or not, if you ever need one, give me a shout.