Oobleck: The Dr. Seuss Science Experiment

Picture of Oobleck: The Dr. Seuss Science Experiment
Oobleck is a classic science experiment that's perfect for entertaining both kids and adults. If you haven't seen it in action it's very fascinating stuff and before too long you'll have your hands covered with it, happily making a mess that can be washed away with water.

Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid. That is, it acts like a liquid when being poured, but like a solid when a force is acting on it. You can grab it and then it will ooze out of your hands. Make enough Oobleck and you can even walk on it!

Oobleck gets its name from the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck where a gooey green substance, Oobleck, fell from the sky and wreaked havoc in the kingdom. Here the Oobleck will be made in a bowl and will likely make a mess, but only because you can get carried away playing with it.

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
All you need is corn starch and food coloring and the food coloring is optional.

- 1 cup water
- 1.5-2 cups corn starch
- a few drops of food coloring of your choice

Step 2: Mix it up!

Picture of Mix it up!
Start with the water in a bowl and start adding the corn starch to it. You can use a spoon at first, but pretty quickly you'll be moving on to using your hand to stir it up.

When you're getting close to adding 1.5 cups of the corn starch, start adding it in more slowly and mixing it in with your hand. The goal is to get a consistency where the Oobleck reaches a state that is the liquid and yet solid.

Sometimes you will need more cornstarch. If so, keep adding more than the initial 1.5 cups. If you add too much, just add some water back into it. You will have to play with it to see what feels appropriately weird.
tamalotes1 month ago

great for kids.

Using a speaker/subwoofer is a great addition.

I used an Android app in order to generate frequencies. Works best between 28 and 35Hz (in my case).

I am sure will depend on the type of tray being used.

joshtrenser1 month ago

Now this is really cool

azharz1 month ago

Made this before but recalled some memories. Thanks fungus amungus. And a awesome instructable.

bgipson11 month ago
Mythbuster's used plain old
Corn starch and water did some really wild things running on it

looks slimy!

Kacheeker4 years ago
Oh I have made this before it is so cool! I really like to make tie dye goop. :D

Reminds me of my old Tie Dye Shirt :D

cesperon2 months ago

Wouldn't it be easier to add the food coloring to the water before mixing the water & corn starch?

This looks like so much fun~

Kelly029 months ago
Amazing video!
Oh man, I love this! Amazing work
JensonBut1 year ago
Those instructions are amazing and extremlly useful! I made this with my science class, but never that much. Wowzer.
rsimpson31 year ago
Thank you so much for sharing this! I did this project in school- many years ago and forgot how to do it. Now that I have a son I have been wanting to share this with him.
MikeCicc1 year ago
Those videos are amazing. I made this with my science class, but never that much. Wowzer.
Foaly74 years ago
If one were to make a bunch of this in an aboveground pool, would they have to use a big stick to mix it?
yes but i think they would use a spade, or a mechanical arm
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I'll have you know two things: First, i am well beyond two years of age, and second it is an honest question.
mg0930mg5 years ago
Some little person did this at my brother's science fair. I was like OOBLECK! People stared at me, nothing unusual. Good instructable, the stuff feels really weird, is it liquid or solid?
It is a mixture of both a liquid and solid. Whan force is put on it, it acts as a solid, when let loose it acts as a liquid!
ilpug mg0930mg2 years ago
Neither! And both! that's the beauty of Non-Newtonian substances!
ilpug2 years ago
I wonder if someone could take a tub of this stuff and hold it in front of a woofer to make it solidify, and then invert the tub and have it not fall out? hmm.
This stuff is great!  Especially fun (and a little bit dangerous:Fill a wading pool with Oobleck and try to run across it.
Mythbusters tried and adam did run across it! I want to try it soooooooo badly!
They used custard.
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ilpug pkmn2 years ago
I distinctly remember it being cornstarch and water, i saw that episode. sorry Millawi.
kelana2 years ago
Dr. Seuss got the name oobleck from Javanese (Indonesian dialek) - ublek means mixed together or stir hahaha..nice thanks
fatfat2 years ago
i think it is really cool that it can freeze and be jiggly
Lol, my friend and I tried this a few days ago. We added enough red food coloring to make it look like intestines! If you added enough red food coloring, smother this all over yourself, it might actually make a good zombie outfit...
Screamo3 years ago
I made this once! its fun! hard not to make a mess though! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED
smitened6 years ago
What state of matter is oobleck.
What you are referring too is "thixotropic" which is the exact opposite of Oobleck. A thixotropic fluid gets less solid the longer a shear force is applied too it, which is why ketchup sticks in the bottle until it launches out and the buildings in some areas get subsumed in earthquakes.
Oo thanks for clarifying my blind stab at making some sense :-)
I think "rheopectic" is the opposite of "thixotropic".

You can also call it an 'impact solid'
I don't know much of an answer this is but there is a pretty cool video using Oobleck.
clanfy smitened5 years ago
it is infact a liquid like cusdard but if you put pressure on it the atoms push together and make a solid have you ever seen brainiac beacuse jhon tickle famusly walkd over a swimming pool full of custard it explains it in more detail there but what i said basicly sums it up clanfy

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