I’ve made a friend on Titan: a giant, multi-tentacled monster that swims around in Titan’s lakes of liquid methane. Today, my new friend invited me to go swimming with him. While that does sound like fun, there are a few problems with that idea:
- I can’t exactly change into my swimming trunks. There’s no oxygen in Titan’s atmosphere, so I need my bulky spacesuit. But even if that weren’t a problem….
- Liquid methane is a cryogenic fluid. It’s not quite as cold as liquid nitrogen, but still… If I stick my toe in the methane, my toe will probably flash freeze and shatter. But even if that weren’t a problem….
- I would sink straight to the bottom of the lake. Liquid methane is significantly less dense than water and significantly less dense than the human body. I wouldn’t be able to float, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to swim.
However, I didn’t want to disappoint my new friend, and I did come prepared for a possible excursion over a methane lake. So I hurried back to my spaceship and grabbed my boat.