Is it worse to be near an explosion on land or in water?

Where would you rather encounter a hand grenade? On land or underwater? Scott Olson/Getty Images

You're lying by the swimming pool, soaking up a few rays and enjoying a nice, cold beverage when your day takes a turn for the worse. Suddenly, you hear a metallic clang followed by a splash in the water. You glance to your left and see an unpinned hand grenade spinning to a stop beside your lounge chair. You turn to your right and see another explosive sinking to the bottom of the pool. In seconds, both will explode. That's just enough time to either dive into the pool or cower on the ground beside the chair. What do you do?

So much for your tan -- neither option is exactly a holiday. Either way you choose, a deadly explosive ­device will detonate in your immediate area. Is it worse to be near an explosion on land or in the water? Well, liquids are­ denser than gases, so maybe the water will cushion the explosion, you reason. It's also harder to run through water than it is to run through air. Won't water also slow down the explosion?


Or will the blast actu­ally be more destructive underwater? Y­ou've seen the effects of fishing with dynamite on television before, complete with images of fish floating dead to the surface by the dozens. Will that happen to you?

­So many questions -- yet so little time! Th­ose grenades are about to explode. Make your decision and read the next page to discover your fate.