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Shrinking cups

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On every cruise, it’s tradition to send decorated Styrofoam cups down on one of the instruments to shrink them.  Styrofoam is mostly air, so when cups made of Styrofoam are sent to the depths, as the pressure increases with depth, the air inside the cups is compressed, and the cups shrink accordingly.  Once they shrink, they stay that way, as Styrofoam isn’t particularly flexible – it doesn’t expand again when it comes to the surface.  This year, we received a set of beautifully decorated cups from Theresa McCaffrey’s Advanced Art Classes at Tualatin High School.  Ruth Musgraves, who developed and runs our Creep into the DEEPEND summer camps ( has a daughter in one of these art classes, and they heard about the shrinking cups through her.  They send out a box of cups, and the artwork is quite amazing, as you can see in the photos below.   The best part is that they made some cups for us as well.

I’m really thrilled about that, because I’m pretty much still at the stick figure level when it comes to my artistic endeavors.