Sunday, January 10, 2010

We're Not At Sea Level Anymore

Until we moved to Bend, I lived my whole life at sea level.

I never had to deal with the fact that at higher elevations, sealed products packaged at lower elevations will have relatively high internal pressure at higher elevations where air pressure is lower. Potato chip bags may swell up like pillows due to this effect.

I opened a new bottle of a cleaning agent today and nearly put my eye out. No telling where the factory is where it had been filled sealed, but it was certainly at a lower elevation than Bend's 3,600 feet.

I didn't pause to consider that the stuff might be pressurized. When I popped the nozzle open, a jet of liquid shot out and hit my glasses.

Hydrogen chloride and citric acid. "CORROSIVE TO EYES AND SKIN" it says on the back of the bottle.

I have to get used to this.


  1. You experience the same phenomenon in reverse when you travel from Bend to Portland and then open a bottle of shampoo or whatever that you brought from Bend. There's a little "whoosh!" as air is sucked in to equalize the pressure.

    Also tennis balls bounce higher here. It took some getting used to after coming from a sea-level place in California.

  2. On the plus side (if you want to look at it that way) the relatively high altitude makes this a good place for endurance athletes to train. That's probably one reason why so many of them live here.


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