I’m hoping that this Australian TV host learned a valuable lesson from having a rocket nearly smack her in the face during an experiment. It’s not exactly a new experiment and since she saw it happen once she kind of should have known what was going to happen the second time. If you watch really closely the bottle takes off and snaps a branch in half only seconds after skating right across her face, thankfully without doing much damage. The fact that she couldn’t hear out of her right ear for a little bit was bad enough, but think about if that bottle had connected full on with her face. It would have been more than her hair that was mussed up.
The explanation for why liquid nitrogen reacts in this manner is complicated and I’m not a chemist so I’ll let y’all figure that one out on your own. But the theory behind these soda rockets is pretty simple. You drop a Mentos into a Coke bottle and it’s going to fizz up pretty badly but not provide enough fizz or energy to really get the thing going. You add liquid nitrogen, which is insanely cold and will usually interact with anything it comes into contact with and you’ve got a bomb. The thing is that it’s so volatile that just holding onto it would be a mistake. It kind of seems that so long as it’s inverted it won’t do much, at least not right away. But if you flip it around that energy inside gets converted and the response is immediate.
Most people that have done this would be split on how to go about it. Some would say just don’t do it because it is dangerous, while others would say that it’s a cool way to spend your weekend. Granted I’m not going to tell any of you how to do your thing but one thing I have learned from this is that if you are going to attempt it, make sure no one’s in the way and you let go of that dang thing the moment it starts shooting off. Also, one other thing I’ve learned from looking this up has to do with the fact that you don’t see anyone wearing any gloves.
The first instinct that people have when working with anything that could be a potential hazard is to wear gloves, right? But the thing with liquid nitrogen is that it’s evaporation rate is so quick that once it’s out of the canister it’s already evaporating and unless you ingest it or get it directly on your skin it won’t be able to do any harm. If you watch the guy pouring it into the bottle isn’t getting any on himself or anywhere but the ground, where it clouds up but otherwise dissipates quickly.
There’s more potential damage to be done by adding the liquid nitrogen to the bottle of Coke, as the unfortunate host found out. I kind of think there won’t be a next time for this activity in her future.