Mentos + Soda = Explosion

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image 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!


Posted on Fri Sep 23, 2005


tongue wink sick! this was cool!! cheese gulp
Posted by Julie  in  NH  on  Wed Jun 21, 2006  at  05:15 PM
I still can
Posted by Kyle  in  Denver  on  Thu Jun 22, 2006  at  12:41 PM
I did this with a 1.5 liter bottle of Diet Coke and some Watermelon Mentos. Absolutely nothing happened. Was it 1.5 liter vs. 2.0 liters, or Diet Coke vs. Diet Pepsi, or Watermelon Mentos vs. Mint Mentos that caused it to fail?
Posted by quentinboggs  in  trenton  on  Sat Jun 24, 2006  at  02:32 PM
we put mentos in diet coke today at our science camp.It was awesome!!! I did it when i got home. But i got in trouble because i used my mama's diet coke. LOL
Posted by Jamie  in  Dekalb, Mississippi  on  Mon Jun 26, 2006  at  03:22 PM
NEED TO KNOW ASAP PLEASE oops sorry for the CAPS it was locked
Posted by alec  on  Sun Jul 02, 2006  at  04:54 PM
BE CAREFUL WITH THIS EXPERIMENT!! I watched my friend drop a pack of Mentos into a bottle of Dr Pepper, quickly put the cap on and shake it. The bottle exploded in his hands and he had to be taken to the hospital. Tiny bits of plastic got in his eye and neck. If you do the experiment as shown on the video, then you should be ok but for goodness sakes don't try to cap the bottle once the mentos are in!
Posted by Charlie  in  Arlen, TX  on  Mon Jul 03, 2006  at  03:53 PM
I have a feeling that it's either the Carbon dioxide in the softdrinks or the aspartame or whatever makes the diet beverage "diet". The one way to clear up the latter condition is to test it out on non diet softdrinks and see how the reaction goes. if it still happens then we know it has to do with the CO2 and how it reacts to whatever is in/comprises the mentos. If not then we know it's a particular chemical/family of chemicals in diet beverages that helps cause the reaction to take place.
Posted by Wisenboi  in  Toronto, Ontario, Canada  on  Mon Jul 17, 2006  at  06:55 AM
The best explanation that I could find...

Several people theorized that a substance called gum arabic in the Mentos breaks the surface tension of the soda, allowing the carbon dioxide bubbles to escape rapidly. This explanation doesn
Posted by umbreon27  in  mythic islands  on  Tue Jul 18, 2006  at  12:55 PM
Many scientists claim that the Mentos phenomenon is a physical reaction, not a chemical one. Water molecules strongly attract each other, linking together to form a tight mesh around each bubble of carbon dioxide gas in the soda. In order to form a new bubble, or even to expand a bubble that has already formed, water molecules must push away from each other. It takes extra energy to break this "surface tension." In other words, water "resists" the expansion of bubbles in the soda.

When you drop the Mentos into the soda, the gelatin and gum arabic from the dissolving candy break the surface tension. This disrupts the water mesh, so that it takes less work to expand and form new bubbles. 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've got a double-whammy. When all this gas is released, it literally pushes all of the liquid up and out of the bottle in an incredible soda blast. You can see a similar effect when cooking potatoes or pasta are lowered into a pot of boiling water. The water will sometimes boil over because organic materials that leach out of the cooking potatoes or pasta disrupt the tight mesh of water molecules at the surface of the water, making it easier for bubbles and foam to form.

So in essence it is both the suface and the gum arabic.
Posted by hollar at your boy  in  Dallas, tx  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  08:08 AM
I gotta try this.
Posted by Vitaliy  in  SLC  on  Tue Aug 08, 2006  at  04:07 PM
lol im doing this today in the park as a rocket and recording it for my website! nice
Posted by Unknown  in  Computer  on  Fri Aug 11, 2006  at  09:53 AM
One mento in a bottle of diet pepsi doesn't do much. But 10 sets it off!!! Fun!! Make sure your pepsi is run temp.
Posted by Lala  in  Cracktown, USA  on  Sat Aug 26, 2006  at  08:30 AM
i too would like to see a person(or kid wink )throw up diet coke and mentos....HEHE!It probably comes out through the nose too!!! tongue rolleye
Posted by watrbnder  in  Flroida  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  06:37 PM
OMG!!! grrr in his eye and neck
i gotta be careful
im gonna do it soon
Posted by watrbnder  in  Florida  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  06:40 PM
Hi, I am doing a Science fair report on Diet Coke and Mentos. I was wondering is it just the mentos that causes it to explode? If so, why doesn't it work in normal coke, or mt. dew? What is it that makes "Diet" coke so special? Does IT also have a chemical that causes it to explode?
I know the Arabic gum checmical causes it to somewhat explode, but what is it that really gets it?
If you could let me know I would be very Thankful!
Thank You!
Posted by Micah  in  somewhere in the USA  on  Mon Sep 18, 2006  at  08:50 AM
who wants to be my friend??? hmmm
Posted by Watrbnder  in  Somewhere....over the rainbow......  on  Mon Sep 18, 2006  at  05:40 PM
mentos are good!!!MMMMM
Posted by Watrbnder  in  Somewhere....over the rainbow......  on  Mon Sep 18, 2006  at  06:18 PM
Im doing this experiment for my project/report.yes im still in school!!!Its more boooooring when you have to write like 4 pages about it!URGH!!! cool grin
Posted by Watrbnder  in  Somewhere....over the rainbow......  on  Mon Sep 18, 2006  at  06:36 PM
Cool, 'sept this is so a "DUUUUUHHHH", it's not only the arabic gum that does it ppl... The carbine dioxide builds up in there, due to the chemicals mixing, then it will build up pressure, finding only one way out.. The top. It will then shoot out, and then stop, after the pressure gets out.
Posted by Unicorn man  in  Cavern of the Pixies  on  Thu Sep 21, 2006  at  02:30 PM
ok soooo if this whole thing w/ mentos & soda is true ill find out..... b/c me and my friend are doing it 4 a science progect........ just 2 see wat happens
Posted by sam  in  md  on  Wed Oct 11, 2006  at  05:31 PM
LOL if you people are so smart then try to drink it after-words vampire
Posted by Orange Juice  in  Missouri  on  Tue Oct 17, 2006  at  12:49 PM
smirk i did... i dont think anyone should.
Posted by Llama Lover  in  Llama Land  on  Tue Oct 17, 2006  at  12:51 PM
Ok soooooooooooo this is awesome and i cant wait till i do this 4 a project wit my friend........Anyway is the whole Gum Arabic true cuz i need to know these excaim
Posted by SAMMY  in  Somewhere In Here  on  Fri Oct 20, 2006  at  01:53 PM
It's a combination of things. Mythbusters did this experiment and found that if you drop Mentos into carbonated water (with none of the other ingredients of Diet Coke), you only get a very small reaction. Three Diet coke ingredients, caffeine, aspartame, and sodium benzoate, each increase the reaction if added to the carbonated water.

They concluded that the irregular surface of the Mentos provided nucleation sites, although there was a serious flaw in their reasoning (they noted that a glazed candy with the same ingredients did not produce a reaction, but forgot to mention that only the glaze, and not the ingredients in the rest of the candy, would come into contact with the liquid).
Posted by Kari Byron's future husband  in  front of the TV  on  Mon Oct 23, 2006  at  02:40 PM
this experiment sounds fun and i cant wait to test it for my science fair project FUN FUN FUN!!!
Posted by brittanyyd  in  home  on  Sun Nov 05, 2006  at  06:05 PM
sweet, thats an awsome expieriment to try at school. im also planing to contruct a small bomb just for fun using the presure from pop and mentos.
Posted by mr. x  in  on, canada  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  08:19 AM
lol, this is so much fun to do.
rofl, its so awsome its awsome.
i think we need an Alpaka
whos with me?
its a type of llama
Posted by Stone  in  Canada  on  Mon Nov 27, 2006  at  03:51 AM
god the reason it fizzes so much is it sinks to the bottom of the bottle
Posted by smarterthenyou  in  kansas  on  Mon Dec 04, 2006  at  03:37 PM
heyy youuu your expieriment was really cool im amazed and im going to grow up and study this with my friend charlett we're going to be BIG scientists one day. Shes my bff(best friend forever)thank for your inspirations we love you!

Posted by bob and charlett  in  Bulgaria  on  Fri Dec 15, 2006  at  08:33 AM
my dklasfj tried it and it died
Posted by sandy  on  Wed Jan 03, 2007  at  06:37 PM
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