Liquid Hourglass

Liquid Hourglass (9).JPG

Are you passing the hours during a snow day, or the latest winter storm, or just having a day that’s too cold to venture outside? Then this hourglass project is for you! It will make watching the passing hours into a fantastically cool experiment.

To start, you need two identical bottles (we used empty water bottles that were 1 liter).

Liquid Hourglass (1)

Hot glue the caps together, pressing for a tight seal.

Liquid Hourglass (2)

Next add a piece of duct tape, to make a water-tight seal.

Liquid Hourglass (3)

Mark two dots where you will insert straws, then (grown-up step!) drill through the holes.

Liquid Hourglass (4)

Cut straws into pieces that are 2-inches long. Insert one straw 1/3 of the way into one of the holes. Insert the other straw 1/3 of the way in the other direction.

Liquid Hourglass (5)

Fill your first bottle with vegetable oil. Definitely use the cheap stuff here, folks, since the bottle needs to be filled completely. We used a funnel to avoid any mess.

Liquid Hourglass (6)

Fill the second bottle with water. We added blue food coloring for visual effect.

Liquid Hourglass (7)

Now screw one half of the bottle cap onto the bottle with oil. Quickly and carefully, flip over and screw onto the bottle with water. Immediately you’ll get a big bubbling result as the two liquids start to mix.

Liquid Hourglass (8)

After a few minutes, the bubbles will settle down and you can really see what’s happening. Because the oil is less dense than water, it will bubble up, bit by bit through the straw, at the same time that the water bubbles down.

Liquid Hourglass (13)

First, we were simply in awe of how cool this looked.

Liquid Hourglass (10)

Then we decided to get more scientific: Had we really created an hourglass? We timed it and discovered it took 45 minutes on the dot before we had one completely blue bottle, and one completely oil bottle.

Liquid Hourglass (16)

And then there’s the fact that this is simply mesmerizing to watch. Seriously, I could have meditated in front of these bubbles.

Liquid Hourglass (14)

And Travis’s glee made it apparent he felt the same.

Liquid Hourglass (15)

Although not necessary, you can decorate your bottles, too. Since the blue and yellow effect reminded us of sand and water, we added a little octopus and his cave…

Liquid Hourglass (11)

…and these fishy friends.

Liquid Hourglass (12)

What a way to watch the hours pass!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s