Tag Archives: Mentos Geyser

Mentos Diet Coke Hoax – Can You Explode by Drinking Diet Coke and Eating Mentos?

There is an urban myth spreading via the Internet that a little boy in Brazil died after eating Mentos and drinking Diet Coke.  The claim is that the Mentos released all of the carbon dioxide from the soda, the boy’s stomach swelled up and he exploded. While it sounds great on paper or as part of a viral e-mail that hit your inbox, nothing could be further from the truth.

Eating Mentos and drinking diet soda might make you burp, but you’re not going to puff up and explode. When you drop Mentos into a bottle of soda, it’s the tiny craters or imperfections on the surface of the Mentos that serves as a meeting place for the bubbles of carbon dioxide gas dissolved in the liquid to collect. Since the Mentos are heavy and rest on the bottom of the bottle, the expanding and escaping bubbles push the liquid out of the bottle, creating the popular soda geyser effect.

If you’ve ever tried to chug a can or a bottle of soda, it probably one took about four seconds before you amazed everyone with your super burp. Your mouth and throat provide plenty of opportunity for the carbon dioxide gas to attach onto some nook or cranny and escape before settling into your stomach. Once the soda hits your stomach, it’s just a matter of seconds for the burp to escape. Couple this with the difficulty of trying to swallow Mentos, allowing the soda and candy to mix, and you’ve got a dud for you imagined to be a dirty trick to play on a friend.

The writers at snopes.com posted a great article on the Mentos and Diet Coke reaction and even reference us as part of the scientific rationale for why the rumor isn’t true.

But this hasn’t stopped a flurry of funny videos surfacing on Youtube. Super Burp has to be one of my favorites…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOdFFa2JZRc[/youtube]

Spangler Signs Deal with Mentos for New Geyser Tube Toys

We’re excited to announce the partnership between Steve Spangler Science and Mentos – actually the company who owns the Mentos brand Perfetti VanMelle USA. For the past six months, our Mentos mad scientists and a number of our Spangler Science teacher ambassadors from across the country have been working on new contraptions that produce the best geysers you’ve ever seen. Geyser Tube toys and science kits will be released in the next eight months and will be available in toys stores (yes, the big ones) nationwide.

Here’s the official press release…

December 1, 2006
DENVER, COLORADO – Over a million viewers tune in each week to see what cool science experiment Steve Spangler has up his sleeve. He shoots potatoes, makes toilet paper fly and turns two-liter bottles of soda into giant geysers all in the name of getting people of all ages turned onto science. The now famous Mentos and Diet Coke experiment turned into one of the most viral marketing campaigns in the history of the Internet. Just drop an unwrapped roll of Mentos into a freshly opened two-liter bottle of soda and stand back. The pop becomes a geyser of foam guaranteed to make onlookers cheer wildly and run away.

Now it’s a world-wide craze, with people of all ages who are lining up in grocery stores to buy Mentos and pop. Soon you can add “Geyser Tube Toys” to the list of must have items thanks to deal that Spangler recently signed with the makers of the popular mint candy.

Spangler has just signed a licensing agreement with the U.S. branch of Perfetti Van Melle, the maker of Mentos. Through Be Amazing!, Spangler is launching a series of patented devices that take advantage of Mentos and soda reactions. These “Geyser Tube” toys – which will twist, turn, fly, scream, power other devices and trigger chain reactions – will be in stores within the next few months.

“This is the vinegar-and-baking-soda experiment for a new generation,” said Steve Spangler. “Once you do it, you’ll want to do it again and again.” Spangler is the CEO of Steve Spangler Science in Denver, Colorado and Creative Director for Be Amazing!, a Utah-based educational toy manufacturer who licenses more than twenty of Steve Spangler’s creations.

Pete Healy, Vice President of Marketing for Perfetti Van Melle, commented on the interactive aspect of the geyser experiment.

“We’re excited that Steve Spangler Science is using the Mentos Geyser experiment to demonstrate that learning can be fun through his new line of toys from Be Amazing!  Teachers and parents know that interactive learning is powerful—and Steve Spangler has been a leader in this area for years.”

Renée Whitney, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Be Amazing!, believes that the success of Spangler’s products are due to his ability to create “WOW” experiences.

“It’s great to see the evolution of an idea that started with Steve sharing a cool science experiment on television, on his website and at teacher conferences years ago. Now it’s a world-wide phenomenon that has kids excited about a science experiment. With the release of Steve’s new Geyser Tube toys, we’ll be able to create even more WOW! experiences and use the unique line of toys to teach the science behind the excitement of the erupting geysers.”

Spangler has created a number of successful toys and science kits for Be Amazing! who supplies them to specialty toy stores and retail outlets throughout the country. The new line of Geyser Tube toys will debut at the New York Toy Fair in February of 2007. Consumers will be able to purchase the Mentos powered toys in early 2007.

Coca-Cola Company is “Blase” About the Mentos Experiment

The recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported that the marketing gurus at the Coca-Cola Company are not all that excited about the pop culture phenomenon. “It’s an entertaining phenomenon,” said Coke spokeswoman Susan McDermott. “We would hope people want to drink (Diet Coke) more than try experiments with it.” According to the article, Coke could use some extra buzz right now. Sales volume of Diet Coke in the U.S. was essentially flat last year, as consumers switch from diet sodas to bottled water and other noncarbonated drinks. But McDermott says that the “craziness with Mentos … doesn’t fit with the brand personality” of Diet Coke.

If the truth be known, both Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke work much better than generic sodas. In the original video posted on 9News.com, both name brand diet sodas were used just so we wouldn’t get in trouble by favoring one over the other. But when VH1 included the video on the second episode of Web Junk 20, the bloggers started calling it the “Diet Coke-Mentos Experiment”.

The Mentos People Speak Out

In a recent phone interview with a newspaper reporter, I speculated that the makers of Mentos, Perfetti Van Melle, were distancing themselves from the Mentos phenomenon. This was based on our numerous attempts to reach the marketing gurus at Perfetti Van Melle, starting back in January of 2006. Well, based on the article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the folks at Mentos are “tickled pink” by the online buzz.

The popularity of the videos – Mentos says it has found some 800 online – is producing a gusher of free publicity for the candy maker, a unit of Italian confectioner Perfetti Van Melle. “We are tickled pink by it,” says Pete Healy, vice president of marketing for the company’s U.S. division. The company spends less than $20 million on U.S. advertising annually. He estimates the value of online buzz to be “over $10 million.”

Our goal in contacting Healy was to share the “buzz” that started back in 2001 when thousands of teachers started doing the science demo in their classrooms as a way to teach some cool science concepts. Over the past five years we’ve collected hundreds of emails with variations from teachers and students. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to share some of the history of the Mentos phenomenon with the marketing people at Perfetti Van Melle. Continue reading

News Anchor Gets Soaked! Mentos Experiment Sets a New Record

SpanglerMentosKim Christiansen thought that Monday would be just another fun, hands-on science segment with Steve Spangler. Little did she know that the bottles of soda would explode and she would be wearing the experiment. This is not the first time I’ve done the Mentos Soda Explosion on the air, but I can safely say that I’ve never gotten these great results either.

Learn how to do the Mentos Soda Explosion – read the experiment
See Steve Spangler’s Mentos Soda Explosion on video.

SpanglerMentos Continue reading