Tin tentakles

A chemical kraken arises right before your eyes!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Warn­ing! Only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion.


  • large beaker with an acidic so­lu­tion of tin(II) chlo­ride;
  • two pieces of cop­per wire;
  • steel plate;
  • piece of tin;
  • pow­er sup­ply.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Fix a cop­per wire over a large beaker with an acid­i­fied tin(II) chlo­ride so­lu­tion. Hang a steel plate on it so that the plate is touch­ing the so­lu­tion. Im­merse an­oth­er piece of cop­per wire and a piece of tin in the so­lu­tion so that they are touch­ing one an­oth­er. Con­nect a pow­er sup­ply to both pieces of cop­per wire – large tin "ten­ta­cles" will grow in just a few min­utes!

Process de­scrip­tion

The acid­i­fied so­lu­tion of tin(II) chlo­ride con­ducts elec­tric cur­rent. Un­der its in­flu­ence, tin ions are con­vert­ed into metal­lic tin, the atoms of which bond to each oth­er in a spe­cial way. This forms den­drit­ic crys­tals that re­sem­ble the ten­ta­cles of a krak­en!

A sim­i­lar ex­per­i­ment is in­clud­ed in the “Tin” set from the MEL Chem­istry sub­scrip­tion!