The glow-in-the-dark Band-Aid packaging

Flying ions!

[Too frantic to write a salutation]: Don’t even ask how this came up. But it’s urgent! I MUST know the answer! When you open a Band-Aid in the dark, why does the glue on the packaging glow as the wrapper is opened? —Bruised in Spring Valley

Flying ions! Officially, triboluminescence! Ripping the paper frees electrons, which positively charges the left-behind atoms. Light flashes as positives and negatives zap back into their at-rest state. Rip a wrapper near a neon tube, and it will flicker. If your radio’s set to an AM station, you can hear the ions crackle, like the effect of a tiny lightning storm. Does this bandage your piqued curiosity?

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