April Fools’ Day may have passed but that doesn’t mean you have to stop playing tricks on your friends. And in keeping with our mission to make science fun, in today’s experiment you will create a worthwhile science experiment, and play a very wet prank on somebody. This simple experiment can be set up quickly using easily accessible household materials.
What you will need: an empty plastic soda bottle, a small nail, pliers and some water.
Step 1: The first thing you need to do is make holes in the bottom of the bottle. Grip the nail with the pliers and carefully push the nail into the bottom of the bottle. Make about 12 holes.
Step 2: Now you’ve made the holes, fill the sink with about 5cm of water. It doesn’t matter how deep it is, just make sure the water level is above the holes. As the sink is filling, keep hold of the bottle so that it doesn’t tip over.
Step 3: Keeping the bottle in the sink, completely fill it with water from the tap. Lift the bottle out of the water and hold it over the sink to make sure it doesn’t leak. Screw on the cap.
SETTING UP THE PRANK
Despite having holes, the water shouldn’t leak. Dry the bottle and find a friend, then pretend that you cannot unscrew the lid. Your friend will think it’s hilarious that you are so weak, and will probably grab the bottle to demonstrate his strength. But as soon as he unscrews it, the water will rush out of the holes and he will get very wet.
1. trick n.
花招 (hua1 zhao1)
2. pliers n.
鉗子 (qian2 zi5)
3. hole n.
4. sink n.
水槽 (shui3 cao2)
5. screw v.i./v.t.
6. surface tension n.
表面張力 (biao3 mian4 zhang1 li4)
WHY IT WORKS
The combination of surface tension and air pressure outside the bottle is strong enough to prevent the water from escaping. But as soon as the lid comes off, the air pressure from the top of the bottle increases, forcing the water out. To avoid annoying people too much, it’s best to do this prank outside on a hot day.
(JOHN PHILLIPS, STAFF WRITER)