What Liquid, Aside From Water, Expands When Frozen?

Gallium is a liquid at 85.6 degrees Fahrenheit and expands as it freezes, according to Chemicool. The four other elements that expand when they freeze are silicon, bismuth, antimony and germanium. However, gallium is the only element out of those five that has a melting point near room temperature.

Gallium expands 3.1 percent when it freezes, so it should not be stored in metal or glass containers. Water expands by 9 percent when it freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Water expands due to its hydrogen bond structure, the hydrogen bonding becoming stronger as water gets cooler.

Gallium can melt in a human’s hand since normal body temperature is above 85.6 degrees. The metal has one of the longest liquid temperature ranges of metallic elements as it boils at 4357 degrees Fahrenheit (2676 Kelvin). The element appears blue-silver and is used in thermometers due to its low melting point. Gallium is not found free in nature and is usually found in bauxite, coal and germanite.

Because of water’s expansion when it freezes, ice is less dense than water and it floats. If ice did not float on water, all marine life would die in rivers and lakes that freeze in winter. Water’s maximum density is reached just before it freezes.