Man crafts makeshift lamp during Typhoon Hagibis with milk, water bottle and smartphone

Here's a neat little trick to help you be prepared for a power outage during a disaster. As a wise survivalist once pointed: Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. 

Sometimes, you just need to channel your inner MacGyver and cobble together something with whatever items you have on hand. Recently, a Japanese Twitter user (@sasurainogeme01) whose power supply got cut off by Typhoon Hagibis improvised an emergency light source using just milk, a water bottle and his smartphone.

The Tweet went out when the typhoon made landfall in Tokyo last Saturday (Oct 12) with a caption that read: "Recently I often see PET bottle lights. If you mix a little milk instead of water, the brightness will be different. (The first sheet is water only, the second sheet is water and milk). Tyndall phenomenon. Try it if there is a power failure in a typhoon."

He first began by filling up the bottle with only water and shined a light through it, but he found that the illumination wasn't bright enough. 

He then moved on to mix a small amount of milk with water, which resulted in the intensity of the light beam increasing significantly.

The science behind it is called the Tyndall Effect — when a light beam passes through floating suspension particles (colloid) in water,  it allows light to be reflected and be visible, as per the biomedical scientist, Dr Anne Helmenstine.

PHOTO: ThoughtCo.

This post has garnered over 100,000 likes and close to 50,000 retweets — unsurprising since Japan's worst storm in decades knocked out power to about half a million homes at its peak. 

Some have given suggestions as to allow the light beam to shine brighter and radiate further, while several others were amazed by the effects of Tyndall Effect. Other Japanese folks have been thankful for the user sharing this piece of information, especially considering that Japan is prone to natural disasters.

It sure wouldn't hurt to be prepared for the worse. Or at the very least, make the best of the circumstances. 

mabelkhoo@asiaone.com