A mystery in the cupboard

My house has an inline water softener, which makes the tap water too salty for my plants. I buy distilled water and add some liquid plant food, and they like that much better.

So today I went to grab a gallon from the kitchen cupboard and found this:

I moved the bottle from where it originally was to photograph it, but you can see that it leaked all over the floor of the cabinet. It was in there with two other identical gallons of water, all purchased at the same time, both of which were fine.

The factory seal on the bottle is intact, and so is the bottle itself. The water was literally squeezed out of the bottle.

Nothing was placed on top of the bottle; it was just lying on its side on the floor of the cabinet like the other two. It had been in the cupboard for a few weeks at the most. Since the cabinet floor was quite freshly wet, I think the leak sprang yesterday or today.

But WHY? What would cause a plastic bottle of water to squeeze itself out this way? I am familiar with the classic science experiment where you heat a small amount of water in a metal can and watch the can crush as the water cools, but this case does not involve heating or cooling beyond what the other bottles in the cabinet experienced (a variation of 10 degrees at the most, I would guess, maybe 68° to 78° F).

I have never seen or heard of anything like this happening, and I am mighty puzzled. If anyone has any ideas about what caused this, I’d love to hear them!

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One thought on “A mystery in the cupboard

  1. Pingback: Noises in the night | Going Forward

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