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Egg Cooks Under the Sun, That's How Hot it is in the Philippines

Sunny side up.
by Pia Regalado
May 17, 2021
Photo/s: Cecile Baltasar
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The summer heat in the Philippines is so intense, a sunny-side-up egg can get cooked just by leaving a frying pan out on the pavement, as this family in Laguna proved in an experiment.

Cecile Baltasar, who lives in San Pedro, cooked an egg under the sun as a science experiment for her children.

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"I wanted my kids to have visual proof of how hot it can get in the Philippines. Kasi they only feel it. Wanted them to see it. I thought of burning a leaf with a magnifying glass and the sun, but we can do that even if it’s not hot," she told reportr in an interview on Monday.

At 12 p.m. that day, her son Googled the temperature in San Pedro, which she said was 35 degrees Celsius. They originally thought of cooking the egg on the pavement but they decided to eat the egg if they succeed, so they placed a cooking pan with a bit of cooking oil outside their home and cracked an egg on top.

"We were going to leave it uncovered, but we have two curious dogs. They started sniffing the pan and egg as soon as we put both down. Also stood between the sun and the pan, putting the pan in their shadow. So the cover went over the pan; we had to shoo the dogs away, too," she said.

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At 1 p.m., the egg white was no longer transparent. By 3 p.m., when the temperature was at 36 degrees Celsius, they checked the pan again.

"That’s when we discovered that the sunny side up egg was already done. The surface looked strange, though. It looked like it had a thin film over it."

With the experiment complete, the family ate it just in time for merienda. Baltasar said her children couldn't believe the experiment was a success.

"They couldn’t believe that solar power alone could do that. Then said next time we decide to cook an egg, we should do it over a stove inside, para raw mas mabilis."

She added: "There have been suggestions from friends (on what to cook next), such as hotdogs, spare ribs, toast, and bulalo. But the kids and I would like to know if we can boil water under the sun."

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According to the Library of Congress, an egg can be cooked on the sidewalk if the temperature reaches 70 degrees Celsius but an experiment reported in Robert Wolke’s book, What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained, said that a hot sidewalk might only get up to 62 degrees Celsius.

Dark objects, like the pan's surface where the Baltasar family cracked open the egg, absorb more light, which may be the additional heat source it needed to cook the egg.

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