Weird Science: Bubble snake - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Weird Science: Bubble snake

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For today's weird science experiment, Dr. V shows Taizo how to create a "bubble snake." Check it out!

Dr. V Show: Bubble Snake

April 13, 2010


Things you need:

  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • 1 small kitchen/hand towel
  • Rubber band
  • Water
  • Dish detergent
  • 2 shallow dishes


The experiment

Please perform this and all experiments under the supervision and with the assistance of an adult. Cut off the bottom of the plastic bottle using the scissors being careful not to cut yourself. Now, on the part of the bottle with the neck, cover the cut end of the bottle with the small towel and secure it using a rubber band. Fill one of the dishes with water and the other dish with dish detergent. Next, dunk the "towel end" of the bottle into the water dish and then into the dish containing dish detergent. Gently blow through the neck end of the bottle. What happens?


How does it work?

A bubble is a thin layer of soapy water, usually filled with air. This thin film is made of three layers, a layer of water that is sandwiched between two layers of soap. Bubbles will try to become a sphere, even if you have a square bubble wand! A sphere is the shape that requires the least amount of energy to achieve and minimized the surface area. With a normal bubble blowing wand, there is only one hole in which you are blowing through and so it only creates one bubble at a time. When you cover the single hole of the bottle with a towel, you create hundreds of tiny holes which all simultaneously make bubbles, forming a chain that resembles a snake. If you look closely at these bubbles, they are no longer spheres. The bubbles will form hexagons and the bubble walls will be flat! This also minimizes the surface area of the bubbles. See how long a bubble snake you can make!

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