Shot A Diet Coke And Mentos Geyser

“I took a big swig and popped a couple of Mentos in my mouth, and the soda pretty much came out my nose and sprayed all over the place. Everyone laughed.”
  --Jamie Hyneman,

Happy Memorial Day and Happy Day 150!  Today, I decided I was going to make a different kind of fireworks in my backyard. 

Quite a few years ago, there was a popular internet video where these guys used Diet Coke and Mentos to replicate the fountain geysers at the Bellagio.
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Since then, there have been tons of YouTube videos where people make explosions using this particular mixture of candy and soda.  The ones with mishaps are great, especially this one.

Mythbusters even did an episode about it in 2006.  In that episode, they found that combination of caffeine, aspartame, potassium benzoate, and carbon dioxide gas in the Diet Coke, plus the gelatin and gum arabic in the Mentos (as well as its structure) result in the rapid formation of a large quantity of bubbles.  This is what makes soda turn into a geyser.

That explanation is nice, but I wanted to see it with my own eyes.  J and I were at a toy store a few weeks ago, and they sold a little tube with the Mentos as part of the package.  I already had it in my mind that we were doing this, so we bought it and saved it for a nice weekend day.  A geyser tube like this can be made fairly easily with a drill and a PVC pipe, but this thing was not expensive and comes with shape-changing filters.

After picking up some overpriced soda at Mollie Stone’s down the street, we headed out to the backyard where I haven’t exactly been spending much time.  It was little overgrown back there, and I decided to setup a piece of plywood to place my geyser.

I picked up four kinds of cola (Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi, and Pepsi One), and I had four types of filters from the geyser tube package (regular, fountain, fan, and “run away”).  So, it was definitely set up for me to make four separate geysers.

First up was the regular old Diet Coke and Mentos geyser.  I loaded the tube up and was actually excited about what was going to happen next.


I grabbed the string that releases the Mentos into the soda and got ready.
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I pulled the string and watched the candy drop into the liquid.  Right away you can hear something happening.
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Then I ran for cover not know what the blast radius of this thing was going to be.
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I watched it shoot up super high into the air as I laughed.
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All that was left after the experiment was a third of the two liter and the candy at the bottom.

Diet Pepsi and the fountain top were next.
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I felt a bit better prepared for this one, and I just let it fly.
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Geyser 3 was Coke Zero and the fan filter cap.  In this one, I overfilled the tube which made the pin stick.  Then, when I pulled it, it totally fell over and only partially exploded.
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Eventually, I just picked up the bottle and stood it right side up.  I ran and turned around to watch it go.
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On the fourth and final geyser, I put the Pepsi One with the “run away” filter cap on.  Once I had figured out that I’d overfilled the last one, I fixed my mistake in this one.  Here’s a video of the first and fourth geysers as well as a little setup.  Enjoy!

Science experiments are fun.  So is shooting foam 20+ feet in the air.  Even though I knew what was going to happen, it was still so exciting to watch that reaction with my own eyes. 

I think it’s fascinating that two very common items in our lives (soda and candy) when put together cause an uncommon result (awesome foam geyser).  Sometimes the normal everyday things around us can turn into something amazing.  The men and women that serve in our Armed Forces, as well as the ones that died protecting our freedom, are American people just like everyone else, but what they do together is truly special and something I could not express my gratitude enough for. 

Happy Memorial Day and God Bless the United States of America!

Related Item:
Be Amazing Geyser Tube
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