Ever Wonder

Q: Why don’t rubber tires stay buried?
A: Most people have never tried to bury a rubber tire, but if they did, they’d see that over time the tire would rise right back up to the surface. If you were to bury a tire 5 feet below the surface, under normal circumstances, it would rise to the top in 10 years, according to Douglas B. Smith, author of “Ever Wonder Why?”

The rubber tire, being resilient, is constantly pushing back against the oil around it. Because the pressure above the tire is less than the pressure below it, the tire has more success pushing up than it does pushing down. As this push proceeds, small particles of soil around the tire are dislodged and fall down through the cracks and crevices too small for the tire to fit through.

In general, the tire pushes up and the soil around it slowly moves down. The tire slowly migrates to the surface.

– By Christine Tognetti, Staff Writer

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