YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober has destroyed the Guinness World Record for tallest-ever elephant toothpaste fountain. Rober and his team created the fountain of colorful, reactive foam using what amounted to a pseudo rocket thruster made of wood. A 2,000-pound wooden rocket thruster, more specifically, which the foam explosion sent five feet into the air.
Rober recently posted the gigantic elephant toothpaste explosion to his channel. The engineer orchestrated the fountain—which took eight months to execute—as a part of a gigantic birthday party for Fletcher Rollinson. Rollinson, as Rober describes in the video, is a 13-year-old cancer survivor who has an indefatigable zeal for life.
As Rober notes, he, Fletcher, and everyone else involved with the project “crushed the previous world record” for tallest elephant toothpaste fountain by more than a factor of two. For those unfamiliar, elephant toothpaste is a foamy substance arising from the rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide; this is achieved using a combination of warm water and (in this case) yeast, as a catalyst.
Although Rober crushed the previous world record for tallest fountain, he admits there was a “critical oversight” with his build. That critical oversight being his inadvertently making a one-ton rocket engine. Roughly 19 minutes into the video is great slow-mo footage of the fountain as the pressure from the foam blast rips the bottom off the structure holding it. (It literally looks like a wood rocket engine shooting out a jet of foam.)
Along with the gigantic elephant toothpaste, Rober also showed off a “Devil’s toothpaste” explosion. The Devil’s toothpaste, the engineer says, was made from a proprietary mixture, and is far more dangerous than elephant’s toothpaste. The resultant show it puts on, however, is perhaps even better than the elephant toothpaste’s.
What do you think about the world’s tallest elephant-toothpaste fountain? And which of all the activities at Rollinson’s birthday, from the fire tornado to the bubble fountain, sounded most fun to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Feature Image: Mark Rober