DIY lava lamp

DIY Lava Lamp

How to Make – 00:06

The Science – 2:10

Cool kid project with just supplies from around the house.  These DIY Lava Lamps can be used over and over so you don’t just make them and toss them.

Video Transcript

How to Make

Hello! This is Isaac Ashby from Tyee Outdoor Experience and today we are gonna learn how to make lava lamps! You know, the ones from the 70s that everybody loves?  Because we all want to transport back to the 70s.

Well here’s what you need. You’ll need a funnel, an effervescent alka-seltzer tablet, or generic brand if you’re a cheapo, food coloring of any color. Whatever floats your boat. A bottle of water and some oil.

So let’s get started shall we?

I’ve invited my favorite friend helper Mr. Fister to help me make my lava lamp.  So here we go alright we need to get, we need to get rid of some of the water in this water bottle. Here take a drink. Drink, drink, drink, drink, drink.  I’m gonna get a drink.

Okay we don’t want to… we don’t recommend wasting water, but this is a video so…

Now food coloring, okay. we need to put like, two drops in there. Can you… whoa… that’s a lot of drops. Okay.

Now the oil okay. Ready? So okay can we pour some oil in there.  Okay we need some more oil buddy.  Whoa! Okay you think that’s enough here let’s just put the rest of it in there.  There’s our funnel okay.

Put it in those two little pieces.

The Science

And now the science behind what’s happening in our little bottle here.

First off we’ve got a density issue going on. Meaning we’ve got two liquids that have a different density. Now
density is basically the weight of two objects so if you had a cup of water and a cup of oil, the same amount of both things, water would be heavier than the oil.

And water and oil they, don’t like to mix. They don’t play well together. They don’t stick together so when you’ve got these two different substances of different densities, the oil floats to the top because it is less dense.

Because as you remember, things that are less dense go higher or float above things that are more dense okay?

So there’s your density issue. Then also  within this bottle we have interface tension. Now interface tension is kind of like surface tension. You know the surface tension where if you can like float stuff on top of water like a paper clip that shouldn’t be able to float? Or the water skeeters or water striders, how they stand on the surface tension and they can stay afloat?

It’s kind of like that but instead of being between an object and water it is between oil and water, right? So that is interface tension which forms these round droplets and keeps them separate.

Now the alka-seltzer does nothing more than mixes and churns it all up and sends these bubbles of things that don’t mix… the blue water that is darkened blue with the with a food coloring… that water floats to the top being pushed up by the alka-seltzer.

And then you see it eventually, those little droplets because they are water and more dense than oil, then they sink back down to the bottom. And that’s how you get the lava lamp.

Also one last thing viewers you can use these over and over all you need is more alka-seltzer tablets! Just plop in more… plop in a few more alka-seltzer tablets and boom, boom, boom! bubbles start coming.

So there’s your science lesson today so thank you and have fun with these 70s water tablets. Now go put on some bell-bottoms listen to some disco and eat some unhealthy food.

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