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Bellagio Fountains Recreated with Mentos and Coke 220

Posted by Zonk
from the truly-a-worthy-expenditure-of-time dept.
Trip writes "What happens when you combine 200 liters of Diet Coke and over 500 Mentos mints? It's amazing and completely insane. The first part of this video demonstrates a simple geyser, and the second part shows just how extreme it can get. Over one hundred jets of soda fly into the air in less than three minutes. It's a hysterical and spectacular mint-powered version of the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas."
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Bellagio Fountains Recreated with Mentos and Coke

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  • by w33t (978574) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:43PM (#15469175) Homepage
    ...of course, now I've suddenly become very thirsty.
    --
    Music should be free [w33t.com]
  • In case of /.'ing (Score:5, Informative)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:44PM (#15469178) Homepage Journal
    Here's [google.com] one of the the Google Videos of the feat.

    A number of different groups of people seem to have attempted it [google.com] as the different versions available on Google depict.

  • by Omkar (618823) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:45PM (#15469185) Homepage Journal
    Not chemical, so it should work just as well with other sodas/nucleation devices:

    "These chemists are saying that the primary cause is physical, not chemical. Their explanation: nucleation sites. If you have a liquid that is supersaturated with gas (like soda, which is pumped full of carbon dioxide), a nucleation site is a place where the gas is able to form bubbles. Nucleation sites can be scratches on a surface or specks of dust - anywhere that you have a high surface area in a very small volume. That's where bubbles can form.

    Mentos seem to be loaded with nucleation sites. In other words, there are so many microscopic nooks and crannies on the surface of a Mento that an incredible number of bubbles will form when you drop it in a bottle of soda. Since the Mentos are also heavy enough to sink, they react with the soda all the way to the bottom. The escaping bubbles quickly turn into a raging foam, and the pressure builds dramatically. Before you know it, you've got a big geyser happening!"

    • by w33t (978574) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:52PM (#15469223) Homepage
      I had always assumed it was chemical. Interesting.

      You've given me an idea - I wonder if there is some way to suspend a substance within the fluid and create these nucleation sites simultaneously throughout the supersaturated medium?

      Perhaps some kind of ferrofluid? So you could run a magnetic field over it and cause the nucleation sites to appear which would cause the reaction to happen on a much more instant scale: read, explosive.

      Now, if only I had the material, and the knowledge, and the friends at MIT.
      --
      Music should be free [w33t.com]
      • With Mentos, it's amusing. With a lot of complicated hardware, it's just another gadget.
      • Ultrasonic cleaner (Score:3, Interesting)

        by moosehooey (953907)
        If you've seen the episode of Mr. Wizard's World, he did this with an ultrasonic cleaner like they have in jewelry stores. Works about as well as the Mentos.
      • by antic (29198) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:41PM (#15469624)
        For years, the big oil companies have been withholding a Mentos/Coke powered car from market... ;)
      • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday June 05, 2006 @08:02AM (#15471295) Homepage
        Easiest way is to get your hands on a cylinder of C02 a regulator a modified cap that fit's a 2 liter bottle with a c02 inlet and nearly frozen water.

        Cold water holds more C02 than warm water so you fill a bottle 3/4 full of really really cold water and pressurize it with CO2 to about 35psi, leave the CO2 connected and shake the hell out of the bottle until you notice that no more Co2 is entering the water (you can hear the regulator feeding more gas) crank the pressure up to 40PSI and let it sit for a couple of minutes in a cooler full of ice and water to re chill the bottle from all that heat you put in it during shaking.

        Start the shaking once again and then let it sit in the cooler for another 10-20 minutes under pressure.

        you should be all done with he most effervesent soad water ever created. carefully remove the cap and quickly replace with a regular cap (or build a cap with a valve for best effect and speed.) so you can let this puppy warm up.

        after it warms to near 40 degrees you can remove the cap (or open the valve) and simply thump the side of the 2 liter to create a massive fountian. sometimes just releasing the cap will set it off.

        You can also do the reverse just as easily. rapidly cool a 2 liter of pop to 20 degrees F without any shaking or vibrations. then thump the side and watch a wave of ice form from the impact site to solidify most of the bottle.

        Note, you must have a sugar/Co2 solution for the supersaturation freeze effect to happen.

        A side safety note: putting pressure on a 2 liter pop bottle is dangerous. you can kill yourself, friends, neighbors, take off your head, lose an eye, etc... but I have sucessfully cranked the pressure of a pop bottle to well over 80psi and a 1/2 liter to well over 120psi (made one hell of a rocket) but bottle pressure handling is very random. Be ready for the bottle to explode at all times.

        With my valve cap design that has a 3/8" valve opening and tube I can get nearly 100 foot fountians with the super high Co2 injection method I mentioned and they usually tip over and start trying to move after 1/2 the bottle is empty because they get too light and still have lots of power left inside.

        and a soda water fountian mess is easier to clean up.
      • Back when I was doing chemistry we were told about a lab that was destroyed by a tank of super-heated ultra-pure water (not quite the same as being super-saturated with a gas but similar). The chemists (physical of course) were heating their ultra-pure water in a specially made container. The container was designed not to contaminate the water and had been mirror finished. Of course this lead to a problem when the water was boiled. The container provided no nucleation points and the water, due to its purity

    • Is this the same concept behind the explosions that the Mythbusters created in a microwave with water. I know that the water was resulted from super clean glass that is free of defect. Introducing an object will immediately cause the gas to bubble and make it explode.
    • Hmmm, should try some activated carbon then. Anybody got an old gas mask canister?
    • Cool.

      Since the Mentos are also heavy enough to sink, they react with the soda all the way to the bottom.

      Leads me to the next thing to try: irregularly-shaped Mentos that would spiral down through the soda, instead of falling straignt down. I assume that the guys in the video used 2-litre bottles in order to give the Mentos the greatest possible falling path? A spiral path would have the effect of using bottles 2 or 3 times larger. Just gotta call up Mentos and ask for their rejected candies!
    • Most explanations I've read also point to the gelatin and gun arabic in the mentos, saying it reduces the surface tension of the soda, which also makes the bubbles for much more easily. It seems the added nucleation sites and the reduced surface tension both contribute to the explosion. The same thing applies to root beer floats. There's a decent write-up here [stevespanglerscience.com].
    • Interesting, indeed. Which makes me wonder: can anyone get their hands on a microscope, and provide a surface picture?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:46PM (#15469190)
    despite it being a waste of food (is soda and candy food?). These guys obviously put alot of thought into the choreography and timing of their fountain. Kudos. There are two questions I still have:

    1. How much soda did they waste getting it right? and;
    2. Are they doing this anywhere near ants?

  • by HellSpam (692342) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:46PM (#15469191)
    I've seen lots of cola and mentos experiments, but that was definitely the best one. Anyone who want to know how this works: http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/000 00109 [stevespanglerscience.com]
  • by bsdluvr (932942) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:46PM (#15469192) Homepage
    ...Stuff that matters.

    By the way, does the diet coke react more in combination with the mentos, or are they just afraid of gaining weight?
    • Re:News for Nerds... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HermanAB (661181) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:19PM (#15469328)
      Sugar in regular cola makes sticky mess - the diet version doesn't.
    • Any carbonated liquid will work. They use diet coke to make sure no one ruins the show by drinking all the fizzy.
  • Or those of you who have never seen Ocean's Eleven, the real Bellagio Fountains [google.com].
  • .. to 'A flock of seagulls' music.
  • Name of the song? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by antdude (79039) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:06PM (#15469276) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone know what the name of the song and who made it? I like it.
  • Pretty cool, but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr2cents (323101) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:34PM (#15469381)
    Ok, the experiment is a nice one to add to the list, but it's hardly "the coolest experiment ever".. I fondly remember two tricks when I was at college:

    1: put some hydrocloric acid in an empty (plasic!!) soda bottle, add some aluminum foil, close bottle, throw away.
    The bottle will start to expand and blow up making a very loud bang.

    2: stack a tealight on top of two other tea lights, making a small pyramid. Light them and wait until the top tea light starts to fume and then the entire surface will burst to flames. Then, carefully throw a small amount of water in the top candle. You'll get a huge ball of fire 2 meters high. Nice way to make clear why you should never throw water in burning deep fryer.

    Warning: these experiments are quite dangerous, so be careful, don't put your head above the tea candles, make sure you're at least 10 meters distant from the bottle, never use a glass bottle, think it through before you begin. Use common sense.

    Any more cool DIY experiments anyone?
    • by Mr2cents (323101) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:48PM (#15469416)

      If you want to repeat the experiment with the hydrochloric acid: don't get near to the bottle, even if it doesn't seem to work. The aluminum and the acid produce an exothermic reaction that goes faster and faster as it heats up. So at first nothing much seems to happen, but once the acid gets warm, the reaction goes a lot faster, adding much more heat, making the reaction go faster etc.... You don't want a bottle with steaming hot hydrochloric acid exploding in your face!!!

      Also, the gas after the explosion does open up your sinusses, but I don't think it's healthy :-).
    • by Masato (567927)
      1: put some hydrocloric acid in an empty (plasic!!) soda bottle, add some aluminum foil, close bottle, throw away. The bottle will start to expand and blow up making a very loud bang.

      ACK! Hydrochloric acid? That sounds like a Darwin Award waiting to happen. Liquid Nitrogen [google.com] makes a pretty "cool" bang without having to handle any acids.
      • ACK! Hydrochloric acid? That sounds like a Darwin Award waiting to happen. Liquid Nitrogen makes a pretty "cool" bang without having to handle any acids


        Dry ice will work as well, and is probably easier to get/use than either liquid nitrogen or hydrochloric acid.

      • Safety shmaftey! I say, a "cool" bang is not a "cool" bang unless it involves an Alkali metal, preferably Caesium [videosift.com]!
      • My research group had an end of year BBQ on the river foreshore, with some great nitrogen bombs we threw into the river. One was particularly big and when it blew up under water with the loudest bang you can imagine it scared some nearby rowers it was hilarious :)
    • Dry ice and water will do the same thing as the hydrochloric acid and aluminum foil (possibly a bit slower), with the advantage of not spraying hydrochloric acid everywhere when it explodes.
    • I second this. Noone who has witnessed what happens when you pour (at worse cold) water into burning fat of any kind will EVER make that mistake.

      Our instructor when I learned smoke-diving and firefigthing performed a bit larger scale experiment. About half a gallon of burning fat in a metal-bucket. Then he very carefully, using a 5 meter long pole with a tin-can welded on the end, poured half a liter of cold water directly into the burning fat.

      The result was a very convincing imitation of a nuclear blas

      • I'm not a trained fireman but I second what the parent said don't ever pour water into hot / burning oil. Our local fire station took over part of the high street to put on a display of what happens when you pour water into burning oil. To make it more realistic they performed the 'experiment' in a mocked up caravan. Just one egg cup of water filled the caravan with flames and smoke. What was most amazing though was how tame the oil fire was before they poured water on it. They even showed us how quite ofte

    • Same deal with the hydrochloric acid and the tinfoil in the 2L bottle, but even more fun:

      Before inserting the foil and acid, securely duct-tape a large rock or brick to the bottle. Insert the foil and acid, quickly cap the bottle, and toss into the middle of the nearest small lake/retention pond.. From what I can find online, standard 2L soda bottles can withstand >200 psi, so it's quite a pop!

      Wait for it, wait for it.....*deep thud* *ground shakes*, BOOM!

      *Disclaimer - Horrible for lake ecosystem, I'm
  • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:50PM (#15469421)
    from the eepybird website:

    " If you have a liquid that is supersaturated with gas (like soda, which is pumped full of carbon dioxide), a nucleation site is a place where the gas is able to form bubbles. Nucleation sites can be scratches on a surface or specks of dust - anywhere that you have a high surface area in a very small volume. That's where bubbles can form."


    Call me crazy, but what about using small bits of carbon aerogel? I know its expensive, but with 600 m^2/g [wikipedia.org] of surface area, it would be a perfect canadate!



    • I don't think it really matters, but the zeolite used in sorbtion pumps has a surface area of almost 1000 m^2 for every cc. A very small amount of this stuff, no one will notice is is missing, and there are nucleation sites galor. It might even sink to the bottom.
      • Actually, dumping aerogel (silica or carbon) in Diet Coke doesn't really do much, since (a) it floats really well, and (b) it doesn't wet very well. You just end up with aerogel bit on top of the diet Coke.

        This isn't conjecture, I have plenty of aerogel to experiment with at the office (like this piece [flickr.com], for example). If I can grab a digital camera, I'll see if I can get a shot of some aerogel bits just sitting on some Diet Coke.

      • I don't think zeolite would necessarly make that great a nucleator. Most of it's surface area is inside pores where there would be poor fluid exchange (although this might be improved by bubbles forcing their way out). Personally I would go for ground glass (ranging in sizes from 0.05mm to 1mm). Good surface area, nice and spikey to make bubbles and heavy enough to sink. The range of sizes should also help activate bubbles through the whole hight of the flask.

  • ...why you can no longer buy Spearmint Mentos in the U.S.
  • by vistic (556838) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:32PM (#15469588)
    The video [youtube.com] on YouTube...

    I was wondering, the jet from the bottle actually doesn't last very long. And the jets seemed in sync with the music. And the jets lasted quite awhile (except for the big burst at the end of the video).

    It makes me wonder if they did this at normal speed to a sped up version of this song... and then slowed the whole thing down to sync it with normal speed music... so the jets seemed to last longer?

    Pretty clever and skillful stunt.
  • by natedubbya (645990) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:42PM (#15469626)
    I can see why most of you find this pointless for slashdot, but this soda/mentos idea has been going around teachers and science education lesson plans [wetheteachers.com] for a while now. It's very popular with science middle school teachers and it gets your average apathetic 12 year old interested in science. So maybe not great for grown up slashdot, but it's still great nonetheless. Would be a great video to show in classrooms.


  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday June 05, 2006 @12:20AM (#15470112) Homepage Journal
    Oh shit! Now they are gonna ban coke and mints from airline flights.
  • Wouldn't the Benny Hill theme be more appropriate for this video??
  • by m874t232 (973431) on Monday June 05, 2006 @04:41AM (#15470779)
    This video content doesn't really fall under "science" (white labcoats don't mean it's "science").

    It really is more an example of the kind of new business models for video: low cost productions, free distribution, and web supported advertising. And the content is of a form where nobody really would want to bother redistributing it without advertising.

    It's actually not all that different from the original business model of network television, although it is arguably a more "creative" and "innovative" than a lot of what we get on television today.
  • I am sure the sales of Mentoes and diet Pepsi or Coke are going to spike after this video spreads on the InterNet. A trick to be shown at all the family picnics this Summer.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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