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  • Writer's pictureAditi Mishra

Fizz-tacular Explosion: Science behind Mentos and Fizz

Updated: Feb 22

A little science experiment didn't hurt no one.. or did it? 

Step aside, the dynamic duo is here (pun intended)

In the realm of spontaneous science experiments, few duos can match the mischief of Mentos and soda. It's the explosive collaboration that turns a casual sip into a bubbling spectacle. Imagine this: a little candy causing a carbonated commotion, transforming a peaceful soda into a frothy fountain of fun. Brace yourself for a journey into the world where sweet meets science. 

We know this reaction has been commonly associated with Coke. But this eruption happens with every fizzy drink. Including Polka pop. 

The Mentos and Coke trick usually gets performed with diet coke. But, any carbonated beverage works. It doesn't matter if the liquid contains sugar or not. Diet soda does work a bit better than regular soda, but the main reason it gets used is because it doesn't leave a sticky residue on surfaces. 

But ever wondered why this happens? The answer, or rather the reaction, is pretty sodalicious. 

Carbon dioxide is the force that pushes the liquid out of the bottle in a fraction of a second. This happens because the surface of Mentos has thousands of microscopic pores or  pits in it - so what we see to be a smooth outer shell is pure deception.

A better way to explain this would be; Imagine a soda bottle as a dormant volcano, and Mentos as little magma rocks. When you drop Mentos into the soda, it's like awakening the soda's inner eruption. The Mentos surface is loaded with tiny pits that quickly catch onto carbon dioxide bubbles in the soda. These tiny imperfections act like perfect hiding spots for carbon dioxide molecules present in the soda. When you drop the Mentos into the soda, these CO2 molecules rush into the pits, forming a multitude of gas pockets. This sudden release of gas creates a spectacular fizz, turning your soda bottle into a fizzy volcano!

Isn't that quite fascinating? 

The fizz and mentos reaction is a captivating blend of chemistry and spectacle, but it's not exclusive to Mentos alone. Other candies with a similar pitted surface can trigger a fizzy eruption. Eg: Polo mint candy, and other candies with pitted surfaces. However, it's crucial to emphasise that while the reaction is entertaining, the combination of Mentos and soda should not be consumed. The rapid release of gas could pose harm, making it a show best enjoyed from a safe distance rather than attempting a risky taste test.

So what are you waiting for? Try out this experiment by grabbing your favourite Polka Pop drink. 

References : 

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