Given the urban legend about kids eating pop rocks and soda, and then having their stomachs explode, I wouldn't have believed that mixing Mentos and soda could cause such a violent reaction. But after watching the video posted on WLTX's website
, I do. (You need Windows Media Player to view it, and I had to click the "Trouble Viewing" button to make it work.) To summarize what the video shows, three Mentos are dropped into a bottle of soda, causing a geyser of soda to shoot up about three or four feet high out of the bottle. This really makes me wonder what would happen if you drank a can of soda and then downed a pack of Mentos. Personally I'm not planning to find out. I'm sure it wouldn't kill you, but I imagine it would fizz up into your throat and nose. WLTX provides this scientific explanation for the phenomenon:
Mentos contains a chemical known as ARABIC GUM (this is the ingredient that makes the mint "chewy"). This ingredient causes the surface tension of the water molecules to break even more easily, releasing more carbon dioxide gas at an astounding rate! .....The gas causes pressure to rapidly build inside the bottle which thrusts the soda upwards in a wonderful fountain-like BLAST!
He also showed how you can open up a shaken soda can if you first tap the sides of the can once or twice. Same principle: the bubbles form around imperfections on the sides of the can, supposedly. Let the flame war begin!
As for tapping on the top, it also works if you tap on your own forehead. Try it and see.
I kid you not. Try reading all the ingredients lists on the cans of pop in the store sometime.
600ml bottle of Diet Pepsi + 1 Mentos = no more 600ml's of Diet Pepsi.
It was interesting to see, I did it in a mall parking lot, at night, and nobody really had any idea what I was doing.
I want to do it with a bigger bottle...
God I need a life.
Now, a carbonated lake, that is dangerous...
I can imagine buying a lot of cheap 'store brand' sodas and having Mentos-Cannon fights...
For real fun, try this *indoors*, with club soda. Since it doesn't stain or get sticky... Hmm.. thoughts..
very similar, yet very cool.
I suspect the only reason it "shoots" out is because of the shape of the bottle. I think if that was just in a very big container, it would just fizz a whole lot.
I can't wait to do this. I should make a super-bottle that's huge and pour a ton of Sprite or some equally fizzy drink into it and use like 10 packs of mentos.
i cant wiat to do this at school.
its all the same
It is not a chemical reaction - I had thought it was an acid/alkali reaction going on (like when you mix bicarbonate of soda and vinegar) but the ingredients of both Mentos and Soda seem quite similar.
Fizzy drinks contain carbon dioxide that was dissolved under higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure. So when you open a soda pop, you release the pressure, and the "excess" gas forms bubbles within the liquid.
If you provide any surface area at all for a fizzy drink to lie against, bubbles of carbon dioxide gas start to form on the solid surface - as the bubbles get large enough, they float to the liquid surface and pop - you can see that if you pour some into a clear glass. More solid surface area = more places for the bubbles to form.
Adding anything to a fizzy drink enables more bubbles to form and more bubbles to escape. Try stirring soad with a spoon - it gets less fizzy. Or dropping in a couple of raisins or grape seeds. So, I'm guessing that the Mentos (and I've never come in contact with them, so don't know what they look like) provide lots of surface area very quickly - maybe they break apart very quickly to form a high surface area?
What happens with dropping marbles in? Or pieces of cork? What's special about the Mentos?
As the stomach is usualy sealed, any increase in nucleation sites (adding mentos) will initialy cause an increase in nucleation. This will cause a bubble of CO2 to form in the stomach, increasing the pressure in the stomach. If the stomach does not expand, the bubble will grow until the pressure matches the amount of CO2 that will dissolve, at which point no more bubbles will form.
Of course, the stomach is both capable of expanding, and equiped with a pressure release mechanism, so this is perfectly safe.
To see the effect of nucleation sites, pour vegetable oil into a tumbler, and swirl until an even coating of oil is on the inside of the tumbler. If you pour a carbonated drink into the tumbler, no bubbles will form, as there are no nucleation sites. Adding a pinch of granulated sugar will result in an explosive fizzing.
In a larger-mouthed container, the pop does just what you think. It fizzes out and isn't that cool. try popping a cork or stopper in the top right after dropping the object in.
The smaller the opening, the higher the fountain.....
The real thing with mentos is that it really does make you cool and slick. It seems that everything that you do will come out ok when you eat mentos.
Just look at the commercials. It has to be true right?
She told us that it was the aspartame in the Diet Pepsi that caused the reaction. We were also told that it has to be room temperature if you want a huge explosion. I'm not sure if this works with regular pop because of a lack of aspartame, but I definately want to do this when I get home! =)
see: Cameroon lage disaster, 1986
Ask your science teacher to repeat the experiment with both diet Pepsi (contains Aspartam) and regular Pepsi (no Aspartam), side by side - this should disprove the aspartame hypothesis pretty quickly. The main advantage of using diet Pepsi is that the mess it produces is not quite as sticky, although plain carbonated water would serve as well.
To prove that it is the CO2 in the beverage that produces the "explosion", you can do the experiment with one bottle that has been left to warm up to room temperature while closed, while a second bottle is left uncapped for the same time, allowing the CO2 to escape. This second bottle should not react.
This is how we scientists test out which possible explanation for the phenomena we observe is the correct one.
It isn't the surface area of the candy or ice would do the same thing. I've put M&Ms; and other candies in pop before and never had a reaction like this before.
I did get a similar reaction when I put some ground ginger in some ginger ale.
It works with poprocks and coke but just crackles alot. Anyway thats cool man good work!8)
the Aspartam theory is false, because this works with club soda, and for many, many other reasons,
the gum arabic is out, since that's the stuff that makes mentos chewy, and once the outer shell disolves the reaction stops, and the nucleation can't be, because even once the scratches and imperfections have been disolved, the reaction continues (this occurs some time between when the fizz is completely gone, and most of the eruption is over. also, if you want to try using the mentos and soda in your stomach, you would have to swallow the metos whole, i think. i don't want to try it, so i'm not exactly sure..... but i think the reaction is caused by somthing in the outer shell.
i have a couple questions...
1. does the drink have to be 'diet coke' or can it be any kind of carbonated drink?
2. i read that it has to be a 2-liter bottle and cant be the smaller bottles is that true...if so why??
3. and i just tried it in my back yard with 'coke' it WAS pretty cool but it didnt explode very high..or at all! it kinda just dripped over the sides...like a volcano...but it went everywhere...i was waiting for it to shoot up really far! did it not shoot up because it wasnt 'diet coke' or a '2-liter bottle'??
please respond...ASAP!! i need this very soon!
I would say that it only does it with certain sizes due to the quantity of certain ingredients. But then again, Im not a scientist. Good Luck
The reason why Mentos work so well is two fold - Tiny pits on the surface of the candy and the weight of the candy. Each Mentos candy has thousands of tiny pits all over the surface. These tiny pits are called nucleation sites - perfect places for carbon dioxide bubbles to form. As soon as the Mentos hit the soda, bubbles form all over the surface of the candy. Couple this with the fact that the Mentos candies are heavy and sink to the bottom of the bottle and you
You are AWESOME. Who would ever even think to that in the first place. Keep doing what you are doing and make us happy, not like you have to try or anything.