It is a simple and easy Fun Friday experiment today – how to make an ocean in a bottle
All you need for this experiment is…
- an empty clear plastic bottle (a 1 or 2L soft drink bottle will work fine)
- cooking oil (any kind)
- Blue food colouring
- A funnel
What you do…
- Using the funnel fill the plastic bottle about one third full with water
- Add a few drops of food colouring to colour the water blue
- Using the funnel again fill the bottle with the oil (you will notice that the water and oil will quickly settle into two separate layers)
- Close the lid tightly on the bottle and turn the bottle on its side
- The water layer will be on the bottom of the bottle
- If you rock the bottle from side to side you can create a wave like motion of the water, looking just like a little ocean in a bottle; see what kind of waves you can make!
How does it work…
This is a good experiment to explain density. The oil is less dense than the water so it will sit on top of the water, creating two separate layers. The layer of oil keeps the water contained within the bottom half of the water and makes the movement of the water look like waves where the two liquids meet.
I have discussed density in more detail in this previous post as well as sharing lots more density experiments.
If you get bored of your ocean in a bottle, why not stand it upright again and add some Alka Seltzer tablets to instantly turn it into a lava lamp!