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Spectacular tricks and their clues

Directory / Spectacular tricks and their clues

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Focus Description:

In this experiment, objects will hang in the thickness of the liquid.


- a tall narrow glass vessel, for example, an empty clean floor - a liter jar of canned olives or mushrooms;

- 1/4 cup (65 ml) corn syrup or honey
- food coloring of any color;
- 1/4 cup tap water;
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil;
- 1/4 cup of medical alcohol;
- various small objects, for example, a cork, a grape, a nut, a piece of dry pasta, a rubber ball, a cherry tomato, a small plastic toy, a metal screw.


1. Carefully pour honey into the vessel, so that it occupies 1/4 of the volume.

2. Dissolve a few drops of food coloring in water. Pour water halfway into the vessel. Please note: when adding each liquid, pour it very carefully so that it does not mix with the bottom layer.

3. Slowly pour the same amount of vegetable oil into the vessel.

4. Fill the vessel to the top with alcohol.

Let's start the science magic:

1. Announce to the audience that you will now make various objects float. You may be told that it is easy. Then explain to them that you will make different objects float in liquids at different levels.

2. Gently drop small objects into the vessel one at a time.

3. Let the audience see for themselves what happened.


Different objects will float in the thickness of the liquid at different levels. Some will "hang" right in the middle of the vessel.

Focus secret:

This trick is based on the ability of various substances to sink or float depending on their density. Substances with a lower density float on the surface of denser substances.

The alcohol remains on the surface of the vegetable oil because the density of the alcohol is less than the density of the oil. Vegetable oil remains on the surface of the water because the density of the oil is less than the density of water. Water, on the other hand, is less dense than honey or corn syrup, so it stays on the surface of these liquids.

When you drop objects into a vessel, they float or sink depending on their density and the density of the liquid layers. The screw has a higher density than any of the liquids in the vessel, so it will fall to the very bottom. The density of pasta is higher than the density of alcohol, vegetable oil and water, but lower than the density of honey, so it will float on the surface of the honey layer. The rubber ball has the smallest density, lower than any of the liquids, so it will float on the surface of the topmost, alcohol layer.

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