Pot Luck

How to Build a Mentos-Diet Coke Volcano

Looking for a way to add some pizzazz to your next cookout or entertain the kids during summer vacation? I strongly suggest building a Mentos-Diet Coke Volcano, a concept I have recently learned is exploding all over the Internet.

This volcano is not, I promise, some cheap frat-house trick, but a highly educational and potentially sophisticated demonstration of the physics of carbonation and the chemistry of artificial sweeteners. See, you can learn while making a mess! Amazing.

I am not a scientist nor do I play one on this blog, so I suggest you look to the pros, specifically Dr. Tanya Coffey, to understand the nuances of why diet soda in particular reacts so gloriously with Mentos.

I am here to offer some tips for setting up your volcano so as to maximize entertainment and minimize liability:

Location. Don't try out your volcano at an airport, government building or hospital. Those places, I hear, are not keen on anything resembling an explosion. Try to set up in a relatively open area, devoid of small children, national landmarks and priceless artifacts. Outdoors is good, particularly a space that can be easily cleaned and is accustomed to being wet (like the perimeter of a pool).

Supplies. One or more two-liter bottles of Diet Coke plus one roll of Mentos per bottle. Your choice in flavor. And don't forget safety glasses for you and the participants! Diet Coke stings, man.

Directions. Open the bottle and set on a level space. Drop the entire roll of Mentos into the bottle. For more complex eruptions, see here for instructions. Repeat if the crowd demands a standing ovation. Clean up. Finally, revel in how you managed to provide some rad and cheap party entertainment.

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Joanna O'Leary