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Today, I found this pattern of water spots in a parking space. Other parking spaces with cars in them also had similar patterns of water spots. What caused this pattern, and why are there more water spots on the right side of the photo than on the left side? It can all be explained by normal processes (for example, nobody was out there with a squirt gun).

Update/hints: This is a residential parking lot, and I took the photo around 6:30am.

Parking space with water spots

Related puzzle: Why is the pavement wet?

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  • $\begingroup$ Is it actually water? I mean, I have seen oil spots that look like water on well used roads, which were dropped by old cars that weren't taken care of well, and in that case, these would be stains that don't go away naturally. $\endgroup$ – marsnebulasoup Nov 16 '20 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it's water. The spots have since evaporated. $\endgroup$ – FlanMan Nov 16 '20 at 17:57
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Assume that there was a frost overnight, which led to ice forming on the cars. Then the sun rose and melted the frost which resulted in water drops dripping onto the tarmac. Asymmetrical because the sun rose to the bottom right of the view so warmed the ice predominantly on the rear and right sides of the vehicle.

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  • $\begingroup$ This answer is feasible, so I am accepting it. I'll also post the intended answer. $\endgroup$ – FlanMan Nov 17 '20 at 14:30
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The intended answer, and what really happened, was:

There was a brief rainfall, and the wind blew from right to left. When the rain stopped, the water began evaporating from the pavement. The last spots to evaporate were those where water had concentrated by dripping off the cars at the low points. The wind caused very little rain to hit the downwind (left) side of the cars, so there was less dripping on the left side.

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my guess would be

It rained recently and there is water running down the road. If you were in the right hand lane (in the US), then the right tires may have gone through puddles and splashed the right side of the car and some in the back, which then dripped when parked. The left two wet spots are the left tires, which were also wet, but not from puddles.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your solution is partly correct (it rained recently), but if the wet spots were from tires, then they would be symmetrical, and the lower left spot doesn't match the lower right spot. $\endgroup$ – FlanMan Nov 16 '20 at 20:50
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I suppose that

The car had been through a car-wash and wasn't dry when it was parked.
Water continued to drip off the low points.
Then it drove away before the puddles had evaporated.

There were other spaces with similar drips, because of a nearby carwash.
It's a Saturday: people fill up the tank, wash the car, and go shopping.
Not everybody (such as me) uses the drier program.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your solution is partly correct (water dripped off the low spots). But in your scenario, I would expect some wet tire tracks, or some wet spots where the tires rested. None of the parking spots have that pattern. The wet spots are not from tires, or else the spots would be symmetrical. In the photo, the lower left spot doesn't match the lower right spot. $\endgroup$ – FlanMan Nov 16 '20 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ The tyres might have dried off through contact with the road. Also the underside of a car isn't completely symmetric, might not be on level ground, might not have an even weight distribution... do you know the reason? $\endgroup$ – Weather Vane Nov 16 '20 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I know the solution. $\endgroup$ – FlanMan Nov 16 '20 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ Rot13(Vg'f n pne cnex hfrq ol qbt jnyxref arne n ynxr jurer gur qbtf yvxr n fjvz. Gurl pnzr onpx gb gur pne, gur qbt favssrq bar jurry, cnqqrq nebhaq gur pne naq pyvzorq vagb gur gehax.) $\endgroup$ – Weather Vane Nov 16 '20 at 21:35

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