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How {not} to explode a volcano at home

January 17, 2017 3 min read

How {not} to explode a volcano at home

Was your last volcano at home explosion more of a slow glub-glub than an exciting reaction? You are not alone!

Our Sassy-Sci friends, who are super eager for volume 5, tried to make a volcano explode a home over the holiday break. And let's just say - it didn't go as planned.

Here is their story and a bit of help to help you avoid the dreaded micro-ooze!!

The Volcano at Home Micro-explosion {a.k.a., The Home Volcano Ooze}

So, they spent several painstaking hours recreating a volcano out of air-dry clay and the results were pretty cool {we saw the pic}. They filled the reservoir, which they had created using a wide-mounted jar in the center, halfway with baking soda. They mixed up a bottle red-tinted vinegar and headed outside with their creation.

Once outside, these peeps quickly added the vinegar to the reservoir and ran back a good distance – fully expecting something amazing.

When it appeared nothing was going to happen, they got a bit closer and saw that their volcano was oozing out some red foam - nothing like the explosion of their dreams.

Can y'all relate? We could.

We have had a {ahem} few volcano duds, so today we are going to introduce you to one of our local experts from our geology leg - Jase Judson.

We met Jase in Ecuador as we were all running from the Dark Shadow. We don't want to spoil it for you all, so that's all we'll say for now . . .

2 Tips to avoid the Home Volcano Micro-ooze

¡Gracias, Blaine and Tracey! ¡Hola Sassy-Sci peeps!

Mi nombre es Jase, and I am not Ecuadorian, really I am from Australia, mate! Even so, I had the privilege of sharing about volcanoes and other geothermal features with the Sassafras twins.

How does a volcano erupt?

At their hearts, volcanoes are mountains that have been made from a molten rock called lava.

But, underneath these mountains, magma has collected in a chamber. When the pressure in the chamber becomes too high, the molten rock is forced upward through a vent and the volcano erupts.

Volcanoes can be active, which means they erupt periodically or continuously, dormant, which means that they have been known to erupt within modern times, or extinct, which means that they have not erupted in modern times.

So now that you understand how a volcano erupts, let me share two tips to help you make your baking soda and vinegar volcano a bit more interesting!

While this type of volcanic eruption doesn't really produce a fantastical explosion. It’s more like a slow ooze, which technically is a type of volcanic activity, but let us not get sidetracked. There are two things that you can do to produce a more eruptive ooze.

Tip #1 – Use a reservoir with a smaller opening.

If you want to increase the pressure on the ooze, forcing it to come out faster - use a jar with a smaller opening rather than the wide-mouthed jar. The smaller the opening, the more pressure will be created to force the bubbling liquid up and out of the reservoir.

Just make sure that you do leave an opening at least the width of your finger or you might end up with more than you bargained for.

Tip #2 – Add a bit of dish soap.

If you want to increase the number of bubbles that are formed, add a squirt of dish soap to the baking soda. You don’t need to mix it in, just add the dish soap after the baking soda and before the vinegar.

Back to the Twins

Thanks, Jase! We have tried both of these tips and they work great.

When you explode your volcano at home, be sure to share a pic with us on Facebook or Instagram. We would love to see what happens at your house!!


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