Scientific pranks for April Fool’s Day

Three easy tricks for April Fool’s Day

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Warn­ing! Only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion. Nev­er swal­low sodi­um poly­acry­late!


  • cup of tea;
  • 1 tsp sodi­um poly­acry­late;
  • di­a­pers;
  • glass con­tain­er;
  • scis­sors;
  • soft drink;
  • mint dragee (we opt­ed for Men­tos);
  • thread;
  • awl;
  • wa­ter bot­tle;
  • pin.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

  • For the first ex­per­i­ment, take some di­a­pers, cut them in half, and pour the con­tents into a glass con­tain­er. The white pow­der you’ll find is sodi­um poly­acry­late. It is a good ad­sor­bent and can ab­sorb a large quan­ti­ty of wa­ter – ap­prox­i­mate­ly 300g of wa­ter per 1g of sodi­um poly­acry­late! If a tea­spoon of this sub­stance is poured into a mug with a drink such as tea, it will hard­en al­most in­stan­ta­neous­ly and re­sult in a great sur­prise! Nev­er swal­low sodi­um poly­acry­late!

  • For the sec­ond ex­per­i­ment, bore a hole in a mint dragee (we used Men­tos) with an awl and pass a thread through it. Open a soft drink and care­ful­ly po­si­tion the dragee in the neck of the bot­tle. Cap the bot­tle tight­ly and cut the ends of the thread. When your tar­get opens the bot­tle, the mint dragee will fall into the drink – and due to the rough sur­face of the mint dragee, the rapid re­lease of car­bon diox­ide will be­gin!

  • For the third ex­per­i­ment, use a nee­dle or pin to make sev­er­al holes around the base of a closed wa­ter bot­tle (im­por­tant! The wa­ter must be non-car­bon­at­ed, and the holes should all be at the same lev­el). When the bot­tle is opened, the pres­sure above the sur­face of the wa­ter will be equal to at­mo­spher­ic pres­sure, which means that the pres­sure dif­fer­ence hold­ing the wa­ter in place will dis­ap­pear. Once the sur­face ten­sion is in­suf­fi­cient to stop the flow, wa­ter will leak from the small holes, and your “fool” will get wet!

Amaz­ing ex­per­i­ments await you in the MEL Chem­istry sub­scrip­tion!