Like most people, I live with two questions constantly rolling around in my head:
1) How strong is oobleck?
2) What the hell is oobleck?
Turns out the answer to the second question is way less weird than I expected. Oobleck is just a mixture of cornstarch and water, a fun substance every kid has made at some point. It’s a so-called non-Newtonian fluid, which means that it has properties of a solid and a liquid. Slowly put your hand in and it will act like a liquid, but punch it and it reacts like a solid.
(Newton hated ambiguity, hence the name. Okay I made that up.)
As for the first question, The Backyard Scientist decided to put it to the test with a series of strength tests for oobleck. Turns out cornstarch and water make for a really interesting gloop, one that makes for some very cool slow motion videos.
When it met a chainsaw it held up like a solid, but it wasn’t strong enough to stop a shot from BB gun from passing through it. The golf ball propane cannon (gonna need one please and thank you) made the oobleck explode like a solid, and also created an amazing video.
The way the firecracker sprayed it everywhere (that must have been fun to clean up) it made it look more like a liquid, but that initial explosion looked like a finer version of the explosion from the gold ball cannon.
As always, even simple substances and silly experiments can teach us very cool things we never would have known otherwise.
What else should they have tried on the oobleck? Do us a solid and flow into our comments section to let us know.
Images: Backyard Scientist/YouTube