Impractical Alchemy

Photo by: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Professor Kasprzak pointed at his work table and said, “It took years, but I finally understood the secret of alchemy.” He gestured at a model ship. It was solid gold. “In seconds everything: the wooden hull, the canvas sails, all turned to gold.”

Reporter Janice Waller looked on in amazement. “Incredible!”

“The trick is a column of water must reside beneath the object. I transformed this model on a lake two-hundred feet deep.”

“Did you ever try anything larger?”

“I transformed a container ship above the Marianas trench. It was a mistake.

“Why? You were rich!”

Kasprzak shrugged. “Ships made of gold…sink.”
_________________________
Author’s Notes:

The Marianas Trench is the deepest place in all the world’s oceans. At it’s deepest location is the Challenger Deep, famously explored by director James Cameron. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariana_Trench

Written for the Friday Fictioneers. Look here for the week’s prompt and links to many other stories: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/18-march-2016/

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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47 Responses to Impractical Alchemy

  1. Joy Pixley says:

    Ah yes, the Midas touch is not always such a wise thing to use!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joetwo says:

    Gold can be a shockingly impractical material for shipwrights. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mandibelle16 says:

    Wow, That is an expensive ship to sink, someone wasn’t thinking things through. Raise the Titanic, I think not. Raise the Gold ship from the Trench….

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Considering only two or three vessels in the world can survive diving into the Challenger Deep, raising even a golden ship wouldn’t be very cost effective. A painful lesson for the professor. πŸ˜‰ Thanks much, Mandibelle! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  4. That’s too bad. Turning a ship to gold and losing it to the bottom of the sea. Haha! At least he has figured out how to turn things into gold that won’t be lost to the sea bottom. (He’s still wealthy!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      No doubt. He could turn life-preservers into gold and live like a king! Just keep it small and don’t get greedy. That seems to be the moral of the story. πŸ˜‰ Thanks much! πŸ™‚

      Like

      • This is the comment that was suddenly deleted from my Reader, right before my eyes! Thanks for the comment! Having this kind of ability might be useful, but then it might not be so great to have! LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. List of X says:

    Even if it didn’t sink (and if it didn’t carry any cargo, it probably would have floated even if it were made of gold), but it’s really impractical to change a container ship into gold anyway, because it probably would be very difficult to try to sell a container ship made of gold. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Seriously? You think it would float? I have a hard time buying that one. And yeah, who could buy a golden container ship? With that much money you could buy Argentina! Maybe chop it up into chunks and sell it little bits at a time?

      Like

      • List of X says:

        Well, we don’t find it surprising that ships made of iron float. πŸ™‚
        It’s all about the water displacement – so if an iron ship can carry twice its weight in cargo, a gold one will float, too.
        Assuming that the softer golden hull will hold and you could tow it to the nearest island, you could buy a small country with the proceeds. Not Argentina, though, because this ship would probably double the amount of available gold on the market and crash the gold prices. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Lyn says:

    Imagine the fight for salvage rights if in the future diving that deep became an everyday occurrence πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I know! That would get pretty savage I imagine. Of course, cutting out a single porthole would make you rich enough to buy an island. A whole slew of people could become millionaires very quickly without claiming the whole thing. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Aw, how the greedy often saw off their foot! (I have no idea what part of my Southern brain thought that one up, but there it is). Loved it! @sheilagood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mike says:

    To Kasprzak (Health Warning) This method of changing items into gold poisons the water. Life without water!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gahlearner says:

    LOL. Poor professor, being too greedy gets you nowhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mickwynn2013 says:

    He’s ended up with a good but useless skill. I suppose he could try other things but if they all have to be on a column of water will they all sink?

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I was thinking about that. You could always tie a float to it. The float wold be outside the water column and thus wouldn’t change. It would still act as a float. Then just haul in the new gold thingee. Working in dribs and drabs, he could make a reasonable living.

      Like

  11. mickwynn2013 says:

    Better than working in a mine I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear Eric,

    It does make one think about where to lay up treasure, doesn’t it? Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  13. madamewriter says:

    Good incorporation of the philosopher’s stone!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. luckyjc007 says:

    Great story…Maybe one day a scientist will discover how to do a reversal and turn the gold ship back to it’s original form…..anything is possible! Just not provable, but that’s been said about a lot of things.πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great idea! I like your character’s solution to alchemy. It seems his biggest reward may be pride, although he could still make a lot of money with small items like the model ship!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I think that the satisfaction of figuring out the secret makes him happiest. He doesn’t really flaunt his wealth, but yeah, things like the model ship have left him quite comfortable. πŸ˜‰ Thanks kindly, Emily! πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. Dave says:

    Archimedes disagrees (that gold boats must sink).
    Of course, Alchemists probably wtfpwn Archimedes…

    Like

    • Dave says:

      Hint: Gold boats can have truly extraordinarily thin walls…therefore weigh next to nothing. Displace more water than your boat’s weight, and it floats!

      Liked by 1 person

      • EagleAye says:

        Oh you guys (you and X) are just pounding me over this one. πŸ™„

        Trouble with gold is it’s a very soft metal. Now imagine container ship constructed with tough, rigid steel. Suddenly it’s all gold. The metal would bend and give. I think the weight of itself would trigger collapse. So yeah, you “could” build a boat made of gold that would float, but it wouldn’t be practical (outside of the obviously ridiculous expense). You couldn’t run it in the sea for long because the pounding seas would eventually break the necessarily thin skin of the hull. That’s my judgement anyway. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Yes, Eric.There seems to be a message in this gold thing. He better be careful. Someone may try to kidnap him to get the secret. Well done. πŸ™‚ — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      There certainly is. Would be thieves had better beware. He lives on a houseboat above a deep column of water. A thief may very well become the gold he seeks! πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much, Suzanne! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  18. jellico84 says:

    haha… of course they do, gold is h-e-a-v-y! Love the story, and the twist. hmmm, a golden dirigible…??? giggles.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. storydivamg says:

    There’s always something practical to put a kink in the plans, isn’t there? If it isn’t the weight of the gold, it’s the inflation caused by flooding the market with too much of the precious metal.

    All my best,
    MG

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      It always seems to work like that. There’s always a wrench stuck in the works somewhere. It’s true though. Flooding the market with gold would seriously crash price. Best to work piecemeal. Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  20. rogershipp says:

    Great job! Life is full of little ironies!

    Liked by 1 person

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