Magical fun with eggs
If you’re the type of person who finds yourself shouting, “I want patience…. and I want it NOW” then this experiment might not be for you. It’ll take 10 days to see the results of our experiment but when all is said and done, we’ll have one of the weirdest eggs you’ve ever seen.
Magicians have created eggs like the one we’re about to make, for many years. As early as 1900, magicians created these “magic eggs” and used them as props in a variety of magic tricks. Imagine if you could remove the “hardness” from an egg shell giving you an egg that could be folded like a napkin or blown up like a balloon? The egg could be folded to make is disappear. It could be blown with air to make it reappear. In fact, our magic egg will even bounce!
- To begin, we must clear out the insides of the egg so all we’re left with is an empty shell. This part of the experiment is probably the hardest and may take some practice before you get it right. Poke a small hole in both ends of the egg. Use a needle to poke the holes.
- Wiggle the needle around in the hole to mix up the insides of the egg. This will make it easier to blow out the yolk.
- Blow into one of the holes and the insides of the egg will slowly pour out of the other end. Don’t blow too hard or the insides will explode out the other side. [Note to teacher: Now that word it out, expect half the class to explode the first few eggs]
- Place the egg in a bowl full of vinegar. The egg will float so you will need to place something on top of the egg to make sure it’s completely submerged in the vinegar. You may be able to tip the egg on one end to let some of the vinegar seep in and weight the egg down.
- Leave the egg submerged in the vinegar for 7-10 days. Notice the bubbles that form on the outside of the egg. These bubbles are carbon dioxide gas that result from the vinegar dissolving the calcium carbonate in the shell.
- Once the bubbles are gone (approximately 10 days later), carefully remove the egg and rinse it with water. Notice that with the calcium carbonate dissolved, the egg is clear and flexible. You can now fold the egg or blow air into it to puff it back up to its original shape.
- Sprinkle talcum powder or baby powder onto the egg to help keep if fresh (and to add white color back to the egg).
Vinegar contains acetic acid. The acetic acid in the vinegar dissolves the calcium carbonate in the eggshell. The bubbles you saw on the egg were carbon dioxide gas that resulted from this process. Without the calcium carbonate, the egg loses its hardness and becomes flexible.