It isn’t often that I find myself checking snopes before posting about something that happened to me. As in never. Until now.
I was heating filtered water in the microwave oven for tea, in a glass mug. It seemed to be taking a long time to boil (I wanted strong tea, so I was going to steep it just off boiling). As I peered through the microwave’s window, there was a muffled explosion, and boiling water and steam spewed out of the microwave. I immediately turned off the microwave and tentatively opened the door. 90% of the water was no longer in the mug. Some of it was still in the microwave; the rest was on the cupboards and floor.
I immediately googled “microwave exploding water” and found that the first hit was a snopes page (True!), the second a link to Steve Spangler Science with more confirmation, and the third hit was a mythbusters video showing exploding water in slow motion.
Wow, I’m glad that happened before I opened the microwave door. It was more likely to have happened when I moved the mug or dropped tea into the water, so I count myself lucky.
So, a Public Safety Announcement: If you are microwaving water, especially filtered water, add a wooden stir stick or some other non-metallic object to provide a nucleation site to prevent superheating and possible subsequent scalding.