Tower of 13 liquids

How to make a density tower

Cool 13-ply liq­uid tow­er!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Warn­ing! Only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion.


  • glass vase;
  • hon­ey;
  • mal­tose syrup;
  • caramel;
  • maple syrup;
  • glyc­erin;
  • liq­uid soap wa­ter;
  • food col­or­ing;
  • lin­seed oil;
  • sun­flow­er oil;
  • olive oil;
  • ig­ni­tion gel (paraf­fin-based);
  • iso­propyl al­co­hol;
  • kerosene;
  • spat­u­la;
  • retinol.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Tint some wa­ter with food col­or­ing, and some kerosene with retinol. Us­ing a wood­en spat­u­la, pour care­ful­ly into a vase in the fol­low­ing or­der: hon­ey, mo­lasses, caramel, maple syrup, glyc­erin, liq­uid soap, wa­ter, food col­or­ing, lin­seed oil, sun­flow­er oil, olive oil, ig­ni­tion gel, iso­propyl al­co­hol, kerosene. It’s a real tow­er of liq­uids! Try drop­ping dif­fer­ent ob­jects into the con­coc­tion and note where they “land.”

Process de­scrip­tion

A sub­stance’s den­si­ty in­di­cates how much mass is con­tained in a unit of vol­ume. A less dense liq­uid will float above one that is denser. This makes it pos­si­ble to ar­range the lay­ers from bot­tom to top in or­der of de­creas­ing den­si­ty. Some of the lay­ers will dif­fuse to­geth­er with time, but this hap­pens rather slow­ly, so you’ll first be able to ob­serve clear bound­aries be­tween the lay­ers. If you drop an ob­ject into such a lay­ered tow­er, it will come to rest at the first liq­uid with a den­si­ty greater than or equal to the den­si­ty of the ma­te­ri­al the ob­ject is made of.