Imagine this scenario: You’ve underestimated the amount the intensity of a storm, and you wake up early in the morning to find the water levels around your home quickly creeping up towards your vehicle. Driving your car to higher ground is out of the question, as most of your surroundings are already underwater.
So, is there still anything you can do to save your ride? If you happen to have a massive tarp at home, you can try what YouTube user Daddy M’ Castro did during Typhoon Ulysses and make your car float. Watch:
Neat, huh? This is a phenomenon known as Archimedes’ principle, wherein an object will float provided the amount of water it displaces is heavier than its actual weight. In the case of this Mitsubishi Xpander, it manages to displace an amount of water heavier than the weight of the submerged portion of the vehicle. You can read more on the science behind it here.
It’s important to note, however, that a car won’t necessarily float how you want it to. You have balance working against you here. In most cases, the majority of the vehicle’s weight will be placed on the front end, which will cause the car to tilt forward. You also want to take into consideration whether a car is front-or rear-wheel drive.
One more important thing to remember is that you want to make sure the tarp you’ll be using is up to the task. Even a small tear will be enough to let enough water in, compromising the buoyancy of your setup. Oh, and you’ll want to find something to anchor your vehicle to as well because, well, it will float away if you don’t.
Frankly, though, this approach is still nowhere as safe or secure as just driving your car to higher ground beforehand. Sure, your car can float, but once it does it’s entirely at the mercy of the elements.
Also, it goes without saying that your top priority when flood waters begin to rise should be ensuring the safety of your household—the living, breathing members of your home, not the ones that sip fuel.