One of the amazing things about the internet is how accessible its information can be. As adolescents become more and more immersed in their social media apps, smartphones, and tablets, the manner in which these young people view scientific breakthroughs is very unique. Experiments that were experienced in person, but recorded on paper, are difficult to describe to visual learners. In this day and age, however, these same experiments may be conducted and recorded on video. From there, video sharing websites like YouTube allow access to these videos, in many cases for free.
Science experiments themselves have been widely shared in compilation formats, or in list posts as GIFs. This video sharing has allowed science teachers to showcase their academic experience for the students, or have science enthusiasts contribute to their academic art in a community setting. Further, even medical practitioners and surgeons have become popular online by sharing their procedure documentation with users.
That said, here are the top five science experiments that we found to be fascinating, messy, and simply thrilling to watch online.
Wildly popular, this made the late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel gasp like a fascinated kid at the science fair. Okay, Kimmel might as well be hosting his own science fair. But Science Bob has a few tricks up his sleeve and sends this thick foam flying. Add food coloring to make some colorful pillars of foam!
A craze in not only science experiments, but also clubs, fashion show runways, Halloween parties, and so much more. The chemical has been used to freeze and shatter carnations, create quick ice cream, and even fill soap bubbles with plumes of cool smoke. Liquid nitrogen should be used with gloves and with caution. Have an adult help you. Yes, even if you are an adult.
Floating Plastic Ring
Probably the simplest experiment on the list. All you need is a balloon, a ring cut out from a plastic bag, and some static electricity. Out of static? No worries. Rub that balloon all over your cat. Or dog. Or leave the animals alone and rub it on your head. The static produced will help you chase the ring around and cause it to float!
Table Tennis Smoke Bomb
Need to make a quick getaway after losing Pong spectacularly against your father-in-law? Well, you could also have one of these aluminum packages handy. Take table tennis balls, wrap them up in aluminum, and ignite the package to produce plumes of smoke that even the craftiest ninja can’t see through.
The Magic Tree
While it’s not the Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!, the Magic Tree is just as cool to watch as it grows. The Magic Tree itself does not use chia seeds to produce its crystalline leaves. This experiment uses table salt, water, cardboard, and a few other household items. By coating specific points on the tree, amateur scientists can watch the salt crystals form huge crystal forms, since the table salt naturally forms crystals on the cardboard. Adding food coloring produces colorful crystals, as opposed to the white crystals usually produced.
Featured photo by Horia Varlan