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Moss Graffiti – SICK Science

Graffiti is a topic of debate in the modern world. While some consider graffiti a nuisance, others consider it street art. With that debate still raging, we suggest performing the Moss Graffiti experiment on a wall or piece of particle board that you have permission to use. Once you’ve received that permission, you’ll create a beautiful growing, green work of art.

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Experiment Materials

Experiment Videos

Experiment

1

Put 60mL of Buttermilk and 350 mL of water into a blender.

2

Add 2 clumps of moss to the blender.

3

Extract the water gel from a baby diaper.  You can do this by opening up a new diaper, and cutting through the top layer of cotton with scissors.  Then, shake out the power/gel substance from the inside onto a piece of paper so that you can easily collect it.

4

Add 2 tsp of the water gel to the blender.

5

Place the lid on the blender and blend until smooth.

6

Pour the moss substance into a bucket that you can use for painting.

7

Paint with the moss substance onto a textured surface. Beware of painting on walls as the moss will remove existing paint.

8

Keep the moss moist by misting it each day with a spray bottle for several weeks.  You may need to mist more often in dry climates.  Watch over several weeks as the moss begins to grow!

How Does It Work

Moss is a tiny plant that grows in clumps.  Most mosses are made of tiny stems which contain one leaf that is often only one cell thick.  Moss naturally grows in moist, shady spots.  Because of this natural preference, keeping the moss moist with a spray bottle is especially important in this demonstration.  The buttermilk in this demonstration is highly acidic which also encourages the moss to grow.