All Hallows’ Eve. Dia de los Muertos. All Saints’ Eve. Day of the Dead. Halloween.
The name and celebrations may change throughout different parts of the world, but the mystery and thrill remain consistent. Here at ECS, we’re drumming up some ways to apply science to this holiday to make it even more eerie.
For kids or just kids at heart, here are some Halloween-themed experiments that are sure to get you in gear for this chilling time of year.
Rainbow Fire Halloween Jack-o-Lantern
To create this spectacular multicolored flaming pumpkin, all you’ll need is a carved jack-o-lantern, hand sanitizer, and either boric acid or borax. The boric acid or borax will emit a green light when heated in a flame, which will mix with the natural blue glow of the alcohol flame and the orange and yellow flames from the sodium in the pumpkin flesh. Check out the video here.
Dry Ice Experiments
Everyone loves the eerie mist of dry ice some or fog during the Halloween season. While the traditional reaction on it’s own is pretty great, we’re looking to amp up the old run of the mill dry ice experiments to the next level.
Self-Carving Exploding Pumpkin
Yes, this experiment is precisely as awesome as it sounds. You’ll create a chemical reaction to cause an explosion inside the pumpkin itself, forcing out pieces and creating a jack-o-lantern face. Oh, we almost forgot – the whole thing is topped off with an accompanying bang and explosion of fire. Check out the video here. If this is a little risqué for your taste, check out the safe version here.
To make a batch of this slim, you just need soluble fiber and water. If you want to make it really creepy, try adding some food coloring or glow pigment. The stuff is even edible, though we’re pretty sure you’re not going to want to eat it.
Turn Water Into Blood
Both shock and make your friends’ stomachs churn with this popular experiment. By combining a phenolphthalein and water combination with a basic solution, your water will transform from clear to blood read through this simple example of a pH indicator.
Goldenrod Paper Message
This paper contains a special dye that turns bright red when exposed to solutions that are basic, such as ammonia water or washing soda. You can use this color-changing paper to develop a hidden message and make dripping, “bleeding” paper.
Ah yes, the classic vinegar and baking soda experiment. Except this time we’re putting a Halloween spin on it to produce a ghoulish outcome.
The Halloween Reaction
Okay, this isn’t technically called the “Halloween Reaction” – it’s more likely that you know this orange and black clock reaction as the Old Nassau reaction. Through this experiment, the color of the mixture will change to an opaque orange after a few second as the mercury iodide precipitates, and then blue-black another few second when the starch-iodine complex forms.
Try out some of these experiments and connect with us through social media to show us your pictures and videos!