Recently at school, I did some experiments on corrosion. Everything mostly went as expected, but the result in one of the test was quite baffling.
This test had an iron nail in water with some of the nail protruding the surface. The tip of the nail was then covered by oil so that it was completely submerged. It was left as is for 4 weeks. At the end of this time, there was a bit of rusting (as I had expected), but most of it was right at the surface of the water, right where it and the oil meet. Is there any reason why this would be?
I had a beaker with the nail in it, leaning upright against the wall of the beaker. I put about 200 ml of water in, then about 50–100 ml of oil. The water didn't completely cover it, but the oil did. After 4 weeks, there was rust, mostly situated around (but below) the oil/water border. As for why it was done, I don't know. My lab partner decided to test this. I think it was kind of testing how much it would rust when starved of oxygen.