GREENVILLE — What happens when you throw a golf ball onto a freshly frozen lake early in the morning on very thin ice?
Science teacher Cari Scholtens knew, and she wanted to share the unique experiment with her students at Lakeview High School.
Cari’s father, Dan Scholtens, a teacher at Belding High School, filmed a video of Cari performing the act on Baldwin Lake in Greenville and she posted it on YouTube.com online.
Cari titled the video “Weirdest Sound Ever!!!” and for nearly five months, it sat quietly and collected a modest 200 views.
Her students were blown away, the strange, sonar-like sound that emerged each time the ball hit the ice was unlike anything they had ever heard before — Cari and Dan still can’t explain the sound themselves.
But what happened earlier this month in the span of about five days was something Cari never expected.
Her video went viral.
Two weeks ago her video had 200 views, but the following morning Cari woke up to a flooded inbox of emails and discovered her 23-second video had exploded upward of more than 1 million views. By the end of the weekend, it had surpassed 4 million views.
“It really didn’t see a lot of action and then all of a sudden, it just took off,” Cari said. “It was selected as youtube’s featured video of the day, and we never saw this coming.”
Cari says she has since been contacted by two televisions shows from the United Kingdom, as well as “Good Morning America” on ABC, which have all expressed interest in showing the video on TV.
The video has been “liked” by nearly 11,000 people, and more than 3,800 comments have been posted on the video, ranging from comments about aliens making the sound to the video itself being fake.
“It’s 100 percent real,” Cari said. “Most people think it’s that sound you hear in the movie when a submarine makes a sonar ping.”
Dan Scholtens said he is most baffled by how long the video was posted online before it went viral.
“That’s the interesting part of the phenomenon, the video is more than four months old,” he said. “It’s really pretty amazing.”
There’s a chance Cari could earn some advertising revenue from the video with the amount of views it has received, however, she isn’t counting on anything significant.
“If I get anything, it’s not going to be anything life-changing,” she said. “If I don’t make a cent, watching this whole process has been enriching enough for me. I’ve had an insider’s perspective, and that’s enough to make me happy.”