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Could you funnel Niagara Falls through a straw?

The news that Niagara Falls may go dry within the next few years has sparked interesting -- and at times, amusing -- Internet debate.

yikesFor instance, Randall Munroe, creator of web comic XKCD and author of the book "What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions," broke down whether Niagara Falls could be consumed through a straw (an alternate means of having the falls go dry, if you will.)

The comic blends practical scientific information with humor -- see an example to the right -- and generally teaches you something.

[See photos of the last time the falls went dry]

Do you know what cavitation is? Why do nuclear reactions happen when water collides at such a high speed with the walls of the straw? Isn't this all kind of ridiculous?

I'm not going to spoil whether a pedestrian straw could handle the entire Niagara Falls, but the article is worth a peek if you enjoy physical science or absurd questions.

Email Ben Tsujimoto, who wants to know how big this straw is, at

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