Droplet impact on a granular layer results in various morphologies of the liquid–grain mixture. Some are concentrated and highly curved, some are extended and flatter. No matter how the morphology looks from the top, it is generally believed that its bottom is tightly connected to the concavely deformed granular target. In this paper we report the discovery of a hidden cavity below a droplet residual, formed upon impact on packings of hydrophilic grains and exposed by X-ray tomography. Its occurrence in the parameter space is explored. We elucidate the mechanism leading to this counterintuitive phenomenon using a dual-curvature model and an energy criterion. This research may shed new light onto the ongoing discussion about the origin of the so-called fossilized raindrop impressions.
- granular media