The Science Behind (Avoidable) Coffee Rings

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 What's the deal with coffee rings? You know them well -- those dark, circular stains that inevitably form when you're drinking a cup of coffee. Whether you accidentally spill a little on your desk or it forms a ring inside the cup, coffee always makes a very distinctive splotch. Why does a ring always form, instead of the coffee spreading out into a uniform layer? Why is there always a dark, defined edge?

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