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The Floating Egg

Eggs sink in regular tap water, but creating a saltwater solution… that's an egg-citingly different story.

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We've shown you how different sodas will either sink or swim in plain tap water, but what's the deal with eggs? Drop as many eggs into plain tap water as you want, but they'll all sink to the bottom. In the Floating Egg experiment, we'll show you how the addition of something as simple as table salt, can drastically alter what happens to eggs in water.

Materials
  • Two drinking glasses
  • Two raw eggs
  • Table salt
  • Spoon

Videos

  • Floating Egg - Sick Science! #167
Print Experiment

Experiment

  1. Fill one of the drinking glasses almost to the top with plain tap water.
  2. Gently drop one of the eggs into the water-filled glass. It sinks right to the bottom!
  3. Fill the second drinking glass half-full with water.
  4. Add four tablespoons of table salt to the water, and stir.
  5. Fill the rest of the cup with water, almost to the top.
  6. Gently place the second egg into the salt water solution… it floats!

How Does It Work?

All you did was add salt to your water. How in the world does the second egg float?

The first egg sinks to the bottom of the glass of regular tap water. This is because a raw egg has a greater density than regular tap water. Essentially, the egg has more matter stuffed into a specific area (volume) than the same amount of water. When you add salt to the water, you increase the density. That is to say, the salt packs into the same volume of water. With enough salt added to the water, the density of the water is greater than the egg, allowing the egg to float.

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