Here's the question of the day: why do Mentos mixed with cola produce this incredible eruption? You should know that there is extensive debate over how and why this works.
As you undoubtedly know, soda pop is basically sugar (or diet sweetener), flavoring, water and preservatives. The thing that makes soda fizzy is invisible carbon dioxide gas, which is pumped into bottles at the bottling factory using tons of pressure. Until the bottle is opened, the gas mostly stays suspended in the liquid and cannot expand to form more bubbles, which gases naturally do.
When you drop the Mentos into the cola, the gelatin and gum arabic from the dissolving candy break the surface tension. This disrupts the water mesh, so that it takes less effort to expand and form new bubbles. Each Mentos candy has thousands of tiny pits all over the outside. These tiny pits are called nucleation sites – ideal places for carbon dioxide bubbles to form. As soon as the Mentos hit the cola, bubbles form all over the surface of the candy.
Couple this with the fact that the Mentos candies are dense and sink to the bottom of the bottle and you’ve got a double-whammy.
When all this CO2 is released, it literally pushes all of the liquid up and out of the bottle in an incredible soda blast.
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