Can a Raspberry Pi swim?

There we are, hopefully scrolling YouTube, when we see a precious Raspberry Pi submerged in a fish tank full of water, wires and all. At first, we couldn’t understand why Rasim Muratovic (aka Rasmurtech) would drown one of our precious tiny baby boards, but we watched the video and discovered he might actually be onto something. So: can a Raspberry Pi swim?

Rasim has a playlist featuring over 100 Raspberry Pi projects on his YouTube channel

On closer inspection, we learnt that this Raspberry Pi wasn’t trying to go for a swim in water, but in mineral oil. It also seemed not to be drowning at all, but rather doing pretty well under the circumstances. The thing about mineral oil is that while it looks just like water at a glance, it isn’t electrically conductive. This makes it fun to play with.

The keyboard, power, and Ethernet cables are all plugged into the board, which is also connected to a monitor. When Rasim connected the power cable to a power source, the submerged Raspberry Pi’s LED successfully flashed green and it starting booting, as shown on the monitor. Rasim went on to log in using his keyboard and mouse, and loaded a graphical user interface. Just like you’d do with any ordinary Raspberry Pi that isn’t immersed in a tub of liquid.

raspberry pi underwater submerged going for a swim
It works!

Rasim didn’t get round to testing the internet connection in this first saturated session, so stay tuned to Rasmurtech to see how deep he makes this Raspberry Pi dive.

Disclaimer: we’re all (mostly) sensible grown-ups here but I should remind you that watery substances of any kind do not play well with electronics and you definitely shouldn’t mess around mindlessly. Like I said, Rasim’s clear liquid here is mineral oil, and that matters a lot.

More Raspberry Pi projects at depth

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen our tiny computers working swimmingly below the surface, or floating merrily on it. We also ride on turtle backs to monitor conservation areas and keep an eye on freshwater fishes in Canada. And don’t start me off on how many there are on boats of varying sizes all over the world.

This will never not be my favourite photo taken by a Raspberry Pi

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gus3 avatar

Mineral oil works. A lot better than vegetable oil, water, or… beer?

https://mindplusplus.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/the-raspberry-pi-my-first-hardware-experiment/

(And yes, totally tongue-in-cheek.)

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Barry avatar

YES! It could very easily be WATER.
DISSTILLED WATER is non-conductive as it does not have any minerals in it.
Barry

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F2Andy avatar

Did this with my daughter eight years ago!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLnBFFJyj8M
We used a perfluorocarbon, and had a layer of water floating on top of it.

Reply to F2Andy

Nancy avatar

I knew immediately from the title, that it was going to be *swimming* in mineral oil. People have been submerging electronics in mineral oil for shock value for many many years. I guess it’s intriguing if you’ve never seen it before.

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