Isn't it supposed to be unhealthy to breathe air in a room with open containers of mercury, though?
yes and no.Mercury has such a high surface tension that you can even swallow it (do not recommend) and it will remain in little balls in your system. Notice the cannon ball stays clean. I'd watch the temperature in that room.Mercury vapor is what is scary.
The background noise sounds like he has a ventilation system running during the demonstration.
We played with mercury when we were children. A broken thermometer and you had an interesting "toy". I can't remember if we finally discarded it, or if we had some way of storing it for future use. I'm sure some of it was absorbed, which has probably caused some permanent harm.
I know you have to be careful with it, but I don't think it's so deadly that being in the same room is a problem. Theo Gray's awesome book on mad science has a project that uses an open bowl of mercury, and IIRC his warnings are only to avoid spilling any or touching it with bare skin.
You know, this may all be illusion. We see a man, that appears to be rational, dressed as though he's a scientist, teacher or other respected professional. In reality, he may not be wearing pants, have on pink fuzzy bunny slippers and be suffering from mercury induced dementia.
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