How To: Get an Egg Through a Bottleneck




Introduction: How To: Get an Egg Through a Bottleneck

A quick, easy tutorial on how to get an egg through a bottleneck and into a bottle--a classic, wow your friends science experiment. 

Bottom line, science is cool. It's got the wow factor of magic and the additional bonus in that it helps us explore the world around us. This experiment is no exception. Amaze your kids and friends. Then seize the opportunity to explain the magic behind it.  :D

Step 1: Things You'll Need

You'll need the following for this experiment:
  • Safety Glasses
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Glass Jar or Bottle*
  • Matches

Optional Method 2 (step 7) additional ingredients:
  • Optional Method 2: Boiling Water
*NOTE: Before carrying out this experiment, you'll want to make sure you pick the right jar/bottle. Ideally, the opening of your jar/bottle should be larger than half of the diameter of the egg, and smaller than the diameter of the egg (so that it doesn't slip through!). If you're unsure, do a quick visual test by placing your hard boiled egg on top the opening.

Step 2: Safety First

Put on those safety glasses. Check your surroundings and make sure they are clear of any flammable items.

This is also a great time to peel your eggs if you haven't done so yet. 

Step 3: Light Your Matches

Check your surroundings and make sure you have nothing flammable in the area. Strike and light three matches. Let them burn for a second before gently dropping them into the bottom of your jar/bottle. 

NOTE: The lighting of a match should be performed by an adult or supervised by an adult. According to the Kid's Health site, matches are still the leading cause of fire related injuries and death among young children. 

Step 4: Add Your Egg

Your matches should extinguish pretty quickly so you've got to work fast. After your matches have been dropped in, place your egg on top of the opening to your jar/bottle with it's skinny end facing down. 

Step 5: Watch the Magic

Your egg will settle and create a seal with the glass jar. Once sealed, the matches will run out of oxygen and extinguish. As the air inside the bottle cools, it will condense (you can see the gas cloud forming!). As it condenses, the pressure exerted on the egg from the inside of the bottle will decrease. There has been no change on the outside of the bottle and the egg, the pressure from the outside on the egg is still the same. The pressure outside is also now stronger, pushing the egg into the bottle. You can watch the pressure change as the egg deforms and gets sucked into the bottle.

Step 6: Ta Da!

You've got yourself an egg in a bottle. Show and wow your kids and friends. 

Step 7: Optional Method #2

If you'd like to avoid the matches and fire, you can recreate the same experiment with boiling water.
  1. Boil some water in your kettle or in a pot (kettles make it easier to pour later!)
  2. Pour boiling water into the bottom of your bottle/jar. 
  3. Place your inverted egg (small side down) on top of your bottle/jar
  4. Wait for the magic! :D

Step 8: Removing the Egg

Option 1: Simply invert your bottle/jar so that the egg has repositioned itself at the opening. Run hot water over the back of the bottle until the air inside has had a chance to heat up. The gas inside will expand and push the egg out. 

Option 2: Carefully stick an object with a blunt end into your bottle. Break up the egg and shake it out--gently. 



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    18 Discussions

    There goes my evening! Great ible and thumbs up for kid safety reminder ;)

    work great but there is a way without having too have those matchstick in with the egg . Yes the egg stay hole but it's a little more work!

    I did this for a science experiment in 8th grade. here is a video of it. ENJOY!

    it can be done by putting the bottle in boiling hot water, empty out , then place egg on top and wait for it to cool and suck the egg in

    folks I'm a simi retired ole'fart (56) who loves simple humor , simple thought, nature, and anything that makes sense. This is a perfect example! At this point in my life, instructables is one of the BEST reads I come across in my daily activities

    How do you get it out? I'm thinking a bell jar and vaccum pump.

    This experiment is so old and popular.. They even put this on physics books.

    And people are still copying this experiment :D

    I usually do this with normal eggs. haven't broken one yet!

    Nice instructable! And i love that "pop" sound in the video xD

    I've always loved this trick! Haha great 'Ible!

    You can also soak the egg in vinegar for a few day, it's gets so rubbery that it will go in the bottle without breaking.

    That's a fun experiment. I have unsuccessfully tried a third way to get the egg out by inverting the bottle and blowing into the mouth of the bottle before the egg has a chance to fill the opening. Difference in pressure is supposed to do the trick, but I almost always resort to method 2. Great job on the instructable!