Oobleck: the Dr. Seuss Science Experiment




Introduction: Oobleck: the Dr. Seuss Science Experiment

About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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.

Step 1: 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!

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.

Step 3: Add Food Coloring

Now that the Oobleck is just right, it's time to add some color. We save this step for later because it's a fun challenge to stir in the food coloring. You will have to slowly mix the Oobleck around to get it thoroughly mixed.

Step 4: Play With It!

No go ahead and play with the Oobleck. That's the point of all this and you can find lots of tricks to try out. Here's a short list:

- Grab a handful, squeeze it, and let it ooze out your fingers.
- Make a puddle and quickly drag your fingers through it.
- Put it into a plastic container and shake it or quickly bump it against a table.
- Jab at the Oobleck and then slowly let your finger sink in.
- Put it on top of a subwoofer and play some low frequencies at high volume (tough to set up, but worth it)

Have fun and be sure to wash it all off in the end.

Step 5: Oobleck Videos

Still not convinced you want to make it? Play this video to see it in action.

2 People Made This Project!


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211 Discussions

I like how there’s only three easy steps there should be more of this

Pound the oobleck with your fist, then poke it with one finger.


1 year ago

This trick with starch is awesome. Good science experiment

My 3rd grader really wants to do this as a science experiment but I'm not sure how that would work. What is the question we are trying to answer? I'm thinking something like "Is oobleck a solid or a liquid?" With the answer being it is both depending on the circumstances. Did anyone doing this as a science experiment come up with anything else? Thanks!

3 replies

When I did this two years ago we asked what state of matter it was and compared a solid to a liquid using a venn diagram. This year I'm tying it to a Dr. Seuss read aloud because it ties to science and a story for Dr. Seuss week at our school. You could also use it to explain the changes an object goes through when it changes from a solid to a liquid or liquid to a solid you could even try and get gas bubbles in it to explain that process as well. You could also try to make other types of slime and comparing the ways each slime moves. :)

Great ideas, BecxE. Thank you for your help. I like the idea of asking what state of matter oobleck is as well as the changes a substance goes through in changing from a solid to a liquid. This has given us a great starting point as my son will be working on it this weekend. Again, sincerely, thanks for taking the time to reply!

You're welcome! I hope it was an awesome experiment! :)

im doing a science fair project and this seems like a good idea.this is a cool experiment. T_T

Fun and easy. My 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter knew exactly how it should feel. Easy to use a whole box of cornstarch with all the splashing and punching.

Endless fund! Very easy to ruin it, so be careful with the water ;)

Check out what fun we had - Youtube video

Made it in science class wow I'm a teen and that was the first time I had ever heard of oobleck but it's pretty neat!

Maybe I try it with my little sister :)