This Toaster Plays the Imperial March From Star Wars and It Slaps

A Star Wars themed toaster that plays the Imperial March
(Nerdist)

Dads love Star Wars, dads love gadgets, and dads love breakfast. Now, all three come together in a glorious symphony of nerdy goodness.  Sometimes it’s good to just enjoy something with no true point, like playing the iconic “Imperial March” on a toaster.

The video is from the geniuses at Device Orchestra, and it started making the rounds this month after it was picked up by Nerdist. And it’s just fun. That’s all there is to it. A guy figures out a way to make his toaster play one of the great movie themes of all time.

There’s plenty we can debate here, such as whether this toaster has succumbed to the dark side, or whether it can still be redeemed. Maybe we can angle for a sequel, or start a fan campaign to get this toaster to do The Mandalorian music next.

The video does a great job explaining the science behind it, but basically, it’s the toaster’s coil that can be changed into the music maker and controlled by a microcontroller. The toast and toothbrush light sabers are added for effect, which is very appreciated considering how hard this version of Darth Vader’s entrance music really goes. The color guard never gets the same recognition as the marching band.

This is just the first step down your path to the dark side, too. You can do a deep dive into Device Orchestra and watch a bunch of other terrific videos. And then you can sneer at your own toaster for being such a dang underachiever.

When Life Gives You Lemons, You Pull Off The Lemon Battery Experiment

lemon battery experiment
(Getty/oxyzay)

Looking for a completely useless but weird and fun experiment to do with your little rascals? You should try the lemon battery! The concept is simple: You cram some nails and pennies into opposite ends of a lemon, use copper wire to connect each end to a tiny LED light, and, with enough nails and pennies, you’ll be able to power the light. Ka-blam! You made a lemon battery! You’ve probably seen this experiment done with potatoes. That totally works, too. But, let’s face it: Lemons are colorful and, therefore, more fun.

The lemon battery experiment is based on one done 200 years ago by famed Italian physicist and chemist (and a “pioneer of electricity”), Alessandro Volta. When he created the first electrical battery, he used a very similar method. The difference? He used brine (or saltwater) instead of lemons. But, the science is basically the same in both instances, the acid or brine is what is needed for the “electrolyte.” Also, does Volta’s last name sound familiar? You probably already guessed it, the electric potential volt is named after him.

Here’s how to get started and what you’ll need.

lemon battery experimentt
Giphy

How does the lemon battery experiment work?

If you’re going to do this experiment, you need to understand the actual science behind it, right? The “battery” works because of an electrochemical reaction. When you use galvanized nails, they serve as an electron-producing negative electrode. On the opposite side of things, the copper pennies (and copper wire) serve as the positive electrode. Think of it just like the opposite ends of any battery. If you put the nails and pennies so they touched, they’d cancel each other out and nothing would happen. But, when stuck in a lemon, the meat and juice of the fruit act as a conduit or conductive solution. The lemon enables you to connect the positive and negative ends to the light’s small wires and channel those electrodes into it… thus powering the light.

What You Need

  • Copper wire
  • Galvanized nails
  • Pennies
  • Lemon(s)
  • LED bulb

How to Make the Lemon Battery

  • Push your nails into one end of a lemon. The nails should touch each other.
  • Create a small incision on the other end of the lemon and insert your pennies
  • Cut two lengths of copper wire.
  • Wrap one piece of wire around a nailhead. Take the other, coil the end of it and wedge it between your stack of pennies in the lemon.
  • Connect the ends of your two copper wires to the ends of the wires on your LED light.

This Video Explains it Best

Lemon Battery Tips for Success

  • Roll your lemon on the table, under your palm for a few seconds, first. This helps loosen up the juices.
  • Make sure your pennies and nails are on opposite ends of the lemon and definitely not touching.
  • Not getting enough power? While some versions of this experiment call for more lemons, you really just need more pennies and nails. Of course, if you start to run out of the surface area on your fruit, a second and third lemon connected in a chain can also solve your problem.

The Lemon Battery on Steroids

We know you and your kids love those crazy influencer experiment videos. We do, too! Of all the lemon battery videos out there, this one is actually the coolest thing ever. Be warned, though: Your kids are also going to end up asking if they can bounce a bunch of lemons on their trampoline. And, honestly, why not?

Other Fruits Battery Experiments

“Okay, but my wife is more of a tequila girl. We only have limes and you couldn’t pay me to go to the grocery store.”

The acid is what is needed here, not specifically the lemon. Any citrus fruit will work. Do you have limes? Use limes. Sitting under a tree of Indian River Ruby Red Grapefruits? Wear a helmet, bro. And use some grapefruits. Which is best? It’s safe to say that lemons are probably the best: That’s why it’s called the lemon battery experiment instead of the key lime battery experiment. However, it doesn’t seem as if there are any real, solid tests to see which of the citrus fruits work best. Maybe that’s an experiment for another day?

17-Yr-Old Student Invents Sutures That Change Color if Wound Becomes Infected

Teen invents sutures that change color when wound is infected
(YouTube/Local 4 News WHBF)

There are students who frantically Google the ingredients to make one of those bubbly volcanoes the morning of the science fair (dish soap, warm water, baking soda, vinegar. You’re welcome), and then there are students like 17-year-old Dasia Taylor from Iowa City, Iowa. In October of 2019, Taylor’s chemistry teacher told the class about state-wide science fairs. Intrigued, Taylor knew that she had an amazing opportunity. Not only would winning science fairs look good on college applications, but more importantly, she had the opportunity to help people.

While brainstorming ideas, Taylor learned of “smart sutures,” or sutures that used changes in electrical resistance to detect infection. These sutures filled a necessary void, alerting patients that something was wrong before the infections became too severe. However, these sutures relied on a patient’s access to technology, as a device was needed in order to receive the sutures’ alerts.

“I’ve done a lot of racial equity work in my community, I’ve been a guest speaker at several conferences,” Taylor told Smithsonian Magazine. “So when I was presented with this opportunity to do research, I couldn’t help but go at it with an equity lens.”

Taylor aimed to cut costs and reliance on technology to produce her own infection-detecting sutures. She tested many different fruit and vegetable juices, many of which change color based on pH. After extensive research, she realized that beet juice changed from bright pink to a darker shade of purple when exposed to a similar pH of an infected wound.

Ever the diligent scientist, Taylor then knew she had to find the proper material for the sutures. The material would have to hold the dye from the beets, but not be so porous that it let infections fester more readily. She spent hours on her research each day after school, testing and retesting to make sure her results weren’t flukes. Ultimately, beet dye and a suture made of cotton-polyester blend gave the teen the results she was looking for.

Taylor won multiple awards for her game-changing invention at regional science fairs. This January, she became one of the top 40 finalists in the extremely prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search, which is run by the Society for Science.

“To get to the Top 40, this is like post-doctoral work that these kids are doing,” Maya Ajmera, the president and CEO of the Society for Science explained. “I am looking forward to seeing how Dasia uses this project moving forward. And on a long-term scale, I’m really interested in watching what problems she is going to continue to solve, to make the world a better place.”

Study Shows Being a Hands-on Dad During the First Year Can Improve Mental Health

Hands-on dads study
(Getty/Jaunty Junto)

Becoming a parent changes nearly all aspects of life, but preparing for those changes is nearly impossible. Extensive research has been done in the area of postpartum depression for women, but recently, scientists have been paying more attention to dads’ mental health after the birth of their children. Studies show that men are also susceptible to forms of postpartum depression, and unsurprisingly, taking on a more active parenting role has proven beneficial to new dads.

Psychologist and father of two Olajide Bamishigbin Jr from California State University, Long Beach has become increasingly curious about the psychology of fatherhood since becoming a dad himself. “I am a father of two young boys myself and research is oftentimes me-search. Generally speaking, I think fathers are important in the family. However, in our field, historically, they have been understudied, especially racial/ethnic minority fathers,” Bamishigbin told PsyPost.

To address this often-ignored subgroup of parents, a study was conducted among 881 low-income dads in the US. At one month, six month, and one-year intervals after the birth of their child, dads self-reported information on their parenting habits. They disclosed information on three parenting areas: time spent with their baby (both alone time and time in general), parenting self-efficacy, and material support for the baby (diapers, clothes, toys, etc).

High self-efficacy, in most cases, was associated with dads who spent more time with their babies and dads who provided more material support. Essentially, spending more time with your baby and feeling like you’re providing for your baby makes you feel more confident as a dad. This confidence when it comes to parenting skills was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better overall mental health. This insight translated across the board in terms of dads, whether or not they were married or living in the same house as their babies.

“In general, I think there are two big takeaways. First, involvement with your child is not only better for the child, but it’s also better for the dad. So, dads, get involved with your kids early and often!” Bamishigbin told PsyPost. “Second, I think it is important for everyone to understand that paternal depression is a serious issue that requires attention. It affects fathers thereby impacting the entire family. So, it’s important that we take it seriously.”

The First Space Hotel Aims To Be Operational By 2027

Space Hotel 2
(Twitter/OrbitalOps)

Traveling ANYWHERE after 2020 seems like a lot of fun, but it won’t be long before things shift back to normal and everyone is looking for a new hot vacation spot. And, if you’re the type that likes to plan ahead, maybe set aside some PTO for your vacation IN SPACE. Hey, even chicken nuggets have been to space so this is long overdue.

Construction on mankind’s first space hotel is scheduled to start this decade. And, if space construction can stay on target, it will be operational by 2027. Orbital Assembly is the company planning the first outer space hotel, and they plan to start construction on Voyager Station in 2025.

And it looks just as fancy as you’d hope a planned space hotel would:

It’s very chic (as far as space living goes) as you’ll be staying in your own individual pod. There will also be themed restaurants (fingers crossed for Margaritaville!), a spa, a movie theater, a gym, a library, a concert venue, and earth viewing lounges. Because once you leave Earth, you’re gonna want to take some time to look back on all the suckers stuck on the same planet they were born on.

And sure, they are planning on having enough space, air, water, and power for all the guests and crew, so a good portion of the new hotel will be dedicated to that. They’ll be able to accommodate up to 400 guests (again, if literally, everything goes to plan).

And, so people’s bodies “don’t fall apart” (important!), the station/hotel will circle the globe every 90 minutes, in order to generate artificial gravity.

It’s going to be very exclusive, so start saving now so you can take one of the most exclusive vacations in humanity’s history, and do it alongside the most loathsome rich people ever!

Archeologists Uncover World’s Oldest Brewery in Ancient Egypt

Old Egyptian Brewery
(Egypt Department of Tourism and Antiquities)

When people think about major archeological discoveries in Egypt, they think of pharaohs and pyramids, but now we have an even better discovery; a brewery. In fact, it’s now the world’s oldest brewery, as on an archeological mission uncovered the oldest high-production brewery in the world in the ancient city of Abydos.

The city is one of the oldest of ancient Egypt and is home to a high number of temples and cemeteries. And now this giant brewery.

The team was a joint effort between American academics from NYU and Princeton and their counterparts in Egypt. The brewery they uncovered dates back to 3100 BCE (waiting for the first beer snob to complain breweries aren’t “like they used to be” because they aren’t in a desert), and Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said the 5,000-year-old brewery was likely used for burial rituals for some of Egypt’s earliest kings.

See? They get it. When a king is asked what he wants at his funeral, the answer was beer. And LOTS of it. It’s that type of wisdom that makes a king beloved. The ancient brewery was split into eight sections to maximize production and the experts (unclear if it’s archeology experts or the beer experts) claim it could produce 5,900 gallons of beer at a time. They (the archeology people this time for sure) said the beer was likely to supply the royal rituals taking place in funeral facilities and that there’s evidence of the use of beer in sacrificial rites.

It sounds like those kings knew how to party. Hopefully, this can get worked into the plot of Indiana Jones 8, when Harrison Ford travels the globe to find an ancient beer that belongs in a museum.

An American Airlines Pilot Had a UFO Encounter and the FBI Is Investigating It

American Airlines UFO
(Getty/Cooper NEILL)

An American Airlines pilot saw an unidentified flying object last week and I feel like we’re all taking it too lightly. This isn’t a kook or someone publishing a clearly doctored photo to accompany some bizarre theory. This is a professional and experienced airline pilot spotting something and determining what that something was has proven difficult.

It was on Saturday when an American Airlines pilot on a flight from Cincinnati to Phoenix told air traffic controllers that he spotted something else flying in the sky, very close to his plane.

“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us,” he said. “I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing moving really fast over the top of us.”

The FAA released a statement saying air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radar. So that’s all totally normal and good! Case closed, move along.

The transmission was caught by a blogger who was trying to pick up a different aircraft with a radio scanner. Steve Douglass published the audio on the aviation blog Deep Blue Horizon. Since the report, the airline has confirmed the authenticity of the transmission.

The blogger determined the broadcast was made over the northeast corner of New Mexico, near Clayton. The FBI is currently investigating.

Now, does UFO necessarily mean aliens? Of course not. It’s probably some military test of a missile or something similar, that’s the most logical explanation.

Buuuuuuuut (the buts are always where the fun stuff happens), could it be? I mean, the UFO world does seem to be heating up with news and declassifications in the last few years. It does seem like something the government is investigating more thoroughly and is being more transparent about (which, to be fair, is a very low bar and still isn’t that forthcoming).

So, there is a non-zero chance airline pilots on a routine flight encountered an object from another civilization, and that is pretty cool. Even if it was some new military weapon they’re developing, that would be pretty cool too.

Either way you look at it, something pretty cool happened in the sky of New Mexico last month.

NASA Engineer Helps Land Mars Rover From Daughter’s Childhood Bedroom

NASA dad watches Mars rover land
(Instagram/maddievsm)

Every job has different metrics for measuring success. Maybe you have regular performance reviews, sales goals to hit, or maybe being successful at your job means landing a freaking rover on Mars. Father and engineer Alejandro Miguel San Martin has worked for NASA for 35 years, and in that time, he’s made history time and time again. This time, however, San Martin’s daughter was able to capture the incredible moment on camera.

Because of COVID, NASA’s work on their most recent rover, Perseverance, has looked a bit different. Rather than working alongside his team in person, San Martin turned his daughter’s childhood bedroom into a makeshift mission control room.

“Touchdown! Never thought my childhood bedroom would become my dads covid mission control – but could not be more proud of the Jet Propulsion Lab EDL team!!!” Madeleine San Martín shared on Instagram. “5/5 for Mars Rover Landings, let’s celebrate!!”

 

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A post shared by Madeleine San Martín (@maddievsm)

In the heartwarming video captured by the NASA engineer’s daughter, San Martin quite literally jumps out of his chair with excitement upon learning that the Perseverance mission was a success.

“YES!!!” San Martin exclaims, throwing his hands in the air after receiving confirmation that Perseverance safely touched down. He kisses his daughter and puts his head in his hands, watching with tears in his eyes as his peers celebrate on screen. “Unbelievable” he marvels, both laughing and crying.

After 35 years with NASA, San Martin has helped land five rovers safely on Mars. Even after experiencing such massive success four times previously, the thrill of making a monumental mark in history clearly doesn’t get old. This NASA dad’s work is out of this world, and San Martin is over the moon about it.

Meteorite Crashes Through Man’s Roof and Makes Him an Instant Millionaire

Meteor Crash
(Facebook/josua.d.hutg)

Everyone would like to be a millionaire, but you never just have a million dollars fall into your lap. Well, technically that should be almost never since that exact scenario played out for a man in Indonesia recently. A four billion-year-old meteorite, worth more than $1 million, came crashing through his roof.

Josua Hutagalung is a coffin maker in Indonesia. He was working on a coffin when the meteor came crashing through his roof from space. He shared a video of the meteorite, showing the hole it made in the roof and then showing it in the ground.

This has been a fun space year. NASA landed on an asteroid, the Pentagon found alien vehicles, and Baby Yoda even made it to space! And now we have someone living the dream of having a rare valuable come from the heavens and changing his life overnight.

He told a local newspaper the sound was so loud “that parts of the house were shaking.” He said the stone was still warm when he lifted it out of the ground later. He sold it to a U.S. researcher for, reportedly, north of $1 million.

The meteor is carbonaceous chondrite, which is supposedly very rare. And it’s estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old, which is pretty badass. If space trash is gonna crash through your roof, at least make it valuable enough to retire on, and Hutagalung got just that.

He is leaving the coffin-making game behind and plans to build a church in his community (can’t argue with the guy thinking a million dollars dropping out of the sky could be a sign). But the thing he wants most is something money can’t buy; a daughter.

That’s right, he wants to be girl dad, and hoping this is a sign of his luck changing.

“I have also always wanted a daughter, and I hope this is a sign that I will be lucky enough now to have one,” he told the local media.

You just got a life-changing rock fall into your house, maybe cool it with the demands? Then again, most girl dads can attest to how great a life it is, so maybe that’s one more life-changing event headed his way.

Go Back to Back to the Future II With This Working Hoverboard Engineers Invented

Hoverboard
(YouTube/Hacksmith Industries)

Sure, it took longer than we thought after watching Back to the Future II, but science has finally given us an honest-to-god hoverboard. Does it come with conditions? Of course. But it’s still a very cool (albeit completely pointless) invention, as it is an actual, working HOVERBOARD.

When it comes to science, we have all sorts of cool things these days we would’ve loved years ago, but we still lack some of the big inventions that feel imminent (self-driving cars everywhere) and some that we won’t probably see (flying cars). But a hoverboard once was thought to be only the province of Michael J. Fox in his prime.

And now the people behind the popular YouTube HackSmith Industries have created an actual working hoverboard. Does it catch on fire? Yes, quite frequently during testing. But they fine-tuned it, and actually made a hoverboard that works.

The tech behind it is very limiting, of course, as it’s powered by a bunch of super-powerful magnets, and it only works over a sheet of metal, so it’s not exactly road-ready. It was a mechanical engineering student who came up with the right specs to make it work, and the prototype is still very cool if you’re into engineering, sciency stuff, or just fun things in general.

So you might not be able to see one at Target, but it’s fun to see a group of people trying to make working prototypes of stuff we only see in movies (like lightsabers!).

 

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For Many Families, the Era of COVID Has Reshaped Fatherhood

How the pandemic changed fatherhood
(SUPPLIED)

The COVID-19 pandemic has, without question, changed just about all aspects of the way we live our lives. In many ways, things are more complicated than they’ve ever been. For many, however, quarantine ushered in an era of family bonding that was never before possible. Particularly, fathers have reported feeling closer than ever with their children. Though it’s uncertain what type of normal we’ll return to once the impact of COVID-19 is mitigated, it has reshaped the way many fathers view their roles within their families.

In a study conducted by academics at the University of Utah, Ball State University, and the University of Texas, researchers found that the pandemic has noticeably strengthened fathers’ bonds with their kids. The study included a diverse group of 284 fathers, 68% of whom reported feeling closer to their kids since the beginning of the pandemic.

Even for dads who already worked from home, the pandemic invited more time for family activities. One dad named David explained to The Dad, “Virtual schooling has been the biggest change, but just in general more time together as an immediate family, less running around dropping kids off at school or taking them to soccer practice or a play date.”

David and his children (SUPPLIED)

Though kids undoubtedly miss spending time engaged in extracurriculars or with their friends, quarantine has slowed the pace of life in a way that many will miss. ”One thing I don’t miss from The Before Times™ was over-scheduling since you want to let kids do so many activities and play dates,” David said, “but sometimes it felt we were always late rushing to something.”

According to the researchers’ second survey of 534 dads, 57% reported feeling more appreciative of their children. One such father is Bayne, who is thoroughly enjoying his time with his daughter.

“I use my ‘downtime’ better when my daughter is here,” Bayne told The Dad. “We go on walks or have long talks or bake, I make better meals overall and keep more consistent hours. Before COVID it was work, TV, video game, takeout, sleep whenever, repeat. I want to keep this new balance permanently; even when she’s back in school full-time.”

Bayne and his daughter (SUPPLIED)

Bayne, like 52% of dads surveyed, also noticed a shift in the topics he discussed with his daughter.

“I find we talk more and about more important and personal things,” he explained.

But for some parents, quarantine was particularly bittersweet. Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of Bright Invention, Inc., has spent a significant portion of the COVID era helping one of his children through an ongoing personal crisis. Though Lloyd often worked from home before the pandemic, no longer having the option to work in person provided clarity about the significance of his office life.

“I came to understand a few things,” Lloyd explained. “One is how deeply important ‘home’ is to all of us. And another was that work was refuge for me, an escape.”

The stability of Lloyd’s home and routine provided the same stability for his kids, something that proved especially important during such a stressful year. In times of crisis, keeping a clear head and a calm environment is not always easy, but providing that sense of security to your family is admirable.

Benjamin Lloyd and his kids (SUPPLIED)

“Parents should be boring and reliable. So that’s been a great achievement for me in 2020,” Lloyd explained. “One thing I know is that it’s a two way street. I need them as much as they need me.”

It’s impossible to say what the world will look like once COVID no longer impacts every decision we make, but one thing is certain: the extra family time was an unexpected silver lining during an especially challenging time. Whether or not it changes the way we choose to live in the future, it was a gift many of us didn’t even realize we needed.

College Student Goes Viral for Incredible 3D-Printed Iron Man Suit

Iron Man Suit by Emily the Engineer
(TikTok/Emily.The.Engineer)

Few things are as inspiring as kids pulling off badass achievements, whether it’s a charity, athletics, or, in this case, science. A recent college graduate is blowing up on Tik Tok for creating an incredibly cool and accurate Iron Man replica suit she made with the help of a 3D printer.

Her suit is truly impressive and the video she put together about the process of making it quickly went viral, pulling down more than 60 million views. Emily Yaird told Good Morning America she posted it right before her college graduation and was overwhelmed by the views it quickly received.

@emily.the.engineeriron man update 🙂 #ironman #fyp #3dprinting #haventseen♬ Celebrate the Good Times – Mason

The suit was a labor of love, and one she did for the first time at age 14, when she put together an Iron Man suit out of Styrofoam and hot glue. When she got to college, she felt she could do better and has been trying to one-up herself ever since. This…will be hard to top. Tony Stark himself would be impressed with her creativity and engineering prowess. The suit has back flaps that open, a laser in the arm, and a helmet that closes.

Her account, Emily the Engineer, blew up after her latest video, as she now has more than 2 million followers. She told a local news station she hopes to get a job making more videos and said it’s a “blessing to be able to do something that is your hobby, for fun, and have people watch and encourage you to do it full time.” On GMA, she shared practical advice for kids interested in engineering; just start.

“Start getting your hands dirty. Build things, get your hands on tools. Making stuff like this has helped me tremendously in things like co-ops, internships and stuff like that, so I definitely recommend getting your hands on stuff and building things.”

Her videos are definitely an inspiration for younger kids and show young people are capable of far more than they get credit for.

And if anyone can appreciate the dedication to tinkering, falling to a hobby, and constantly working to make it better, it’s dads.

Everything To Know About the Mentos and Coke Experiment

Mentos and Coke
(YouTube/Power Test)

Now that we’re entering the eleventeenth month of social distancing and pandemic life, we’ve all become pretty adept at finding ways to fight off boredom. Building elaborate LEGO sets? Done it. Channeling our inner David Copperfield by learning magic tricks? Yep, that too. And thanks to the popularity of TikTok, we’ve all witnessed the rise of many new social-media-born trends over the past year. Interestingly, though, one of those social-media-born trends isn’t new at all: the decades-old Mentos and Coke experiment. It’s true — all over the internet, you can find kids and their parents recreating the same experiment that’s been done thousands of times before. By dropping some Mentos into a two-liter of Coke, they create a man-made geyser of epic proportions.

It’s not as basic as it seems, though. There are so many variations and riffs on the experiment now. From using different kinds of carbonated drinks to different sized bottles and even trying the other Mentos flavors, there are plenty of ways to give the experiment your own spin. Why does it work? Which gives the ultimate “explosion”? And what other factors can take the experiment to new heights?

We have all the answers (and then some). So, strap on some safety goggles and show your little science nerds how it’s done. As we walk you through all the basics, be sure to watch the videos of some different takes on the experiment!

The History Behind the Experiment

The Mentos and Coke challenge didn’t even start with Mentos. In the ’80s, budding scientists would thread the Wint-O-Green Life Savers onto a pipe cleaner and then drop them into bottles of soda to create geysers. It was a popular experiment in science classes across America. And then the ’90s happened. The manufacturer of Life Savers changed their sizing, and the candies would no longer fit through the mouth of a 2-liter bottle. Never ones to accept defeat, scientists set out to find new ways to make geysers. They found their answer in mint Mentos. And the rest is history… but, also the present.

Chemical or Physical Reaction?

While many people incorrectly claim that a chemical reaction causes the minty-soda geyser, they aren’t entirely in the right. In actuality, the answer is a bit more complicated. Scientific American explains that it’s more of a physical reaction. The reaction comes from the microscopic bumps on the candy disturbing the carbon dioxide in the Coca-Cola, causing it to release the epic burst of fizziness. Diet Coke has historically created the biggest burst because it has the most CO2. It’s all aided by the shape of the bottle. Don’t quite understand? Honestly, that’s okay. We’re all here for the geyser, not the science.

Variables to Consider

As we mentioned above, Diet Coke and Mentos create the biggest geyser. However, there are plenty of other things to try. Just because we know Diet Coke will create the biggest geyser, it doesn’t mean we can’t still experiment with other soft drinks. Using the various fruity flavors of Fanta may not create giant pop volcanos, but they will produce wildly colorful ones. 

Another interesting variable to consider is altitude. Depending on where you sit above or below sea level can also impact the height of your geyser. Live near the mountains in Tennessee or Colorado, for instance? See how the experiment’s results change when you do them at the top of the mountain versus when you do it at the base.

What other ways can you alter this experiment?

Sure, the shape on the 2-liter definitely plays a big part in your geyser-making. However, it does not have to be a constant or control. How can using different shapes bottles or containers affect the outcome?

How to Perform the Experiment

Supplies you need:

  • Mentos
  • Diet Coke
  • Safety goggles

Supplies to consider:

  • More Mentos
  • Other pop flavors
  • Painter’s tape
  • Tape measure
  • Different sized vessels

How to:

Your best bet is to set up your experiment outside and in front of a wall or garage door. You can use your tape measure and painter’s tape to measure off 1- to 2-foot markings on the wall or door. Definitely mark measurements all the way up as high as you can reach.

Sit your 2-liter of Diet Coke close to the measurements, don your goggles, drop a few Mentos into the bottle, and run. Use the highest wet mark on the wall to measure the results. (If it didn’t splash on the wall, consider yourself lucky and use your kids’ best guess as to how high it reaches.) You could also set up your phone to video the drop and help keep accurate records — just keep it back far enough that it can catch the whole wall. Consider using another piece of painter’s tape to mark the Diet Coke’s peak splash.

Repeat the experiment with different types of soda or different vessels, continuing to record your results. Because, really, what else do we have to do right now? Plus, as ways to kill time go, this one’s pretty cool. 

What happens if you eat Mentos and Coke?

You may have heard that drinking Coke with Mentos will cause you to explode. But that’s not entirely true. You won’t blow up, but you will feel like an erupting volcano of discomfort. It causes you to burp and vomit profusely because the carbon dioxide in your stomach fights for a way out. This provokes the puking. So, you won’t die, but it isn’t a very fun activity.

Does the flavor of Mentos affect the explosion?

The answer is yes. But it has nothing to do with the mint Mentos’ actual flavor. The mint Mentos mixed with diet coke usually explodes the longer and higher while fruit Mentos has a more delayed and less impressive reaction. This is because fruity Mentos have an extra coating of flavor which slows down the reaction time. The mint ones have small dents in them, which allows the coke to react immediately.