You have all of the family's costumes prepared. You've bought all the treats you could get your hands on. Your front gate is decked with spooky ghosts, monsters, cobwebs and pumpkins. But, have you asked yourself. “Where’s the ‘trick’ in my Halloween trick or treat?”
Well, look no further! We’ve got the tricks you’re looking for. What’s even better is that these are science magic tricks! You’ll not only wow your trick-or-treaters, they’ll howl in delight too. So get your instruments ready, head to the nearest mad scientist’s lab and get cracking with these science tricks.
Fair warning, you will need that mad scientist to help you out; unless, of course, you're a mad scientist yourself.
Trick #1: Fire-breathing Bubbles Screengrab from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/Youtube.com
What you’ll need: Bowl of bubble solution Beach ball Tube (has to fit into the beach ball) Gas stove lighter A candle 1-meter long stick Protective gear The secret ingredient: hydrogen gas
What to do: Set up 1. Fill the beach ball with hydrogen gas. 2. Insert one end of the tube into the opening of the beach and clip or attach the other end to the bowl of bubble solution. The end of the tube must be submerged into the solution. 3. Attach the candle to the stick. Light your candle. Perform 4. Hold the candle at a height, about 2 ft. higher than your head, above the bowl of suds. 5. Slowly squeeze out the gas from the beach ball. This will cause bubbles in your bubble solution. The hydrogen gas bubbles that you’ve made will accumulate and will start to lift away from the bowl. 6. Watch as the bubbles magically float away! And, once they come close to the candle you're holding above them, they will...
7. Ignite! The science here is simple: hydrogen gas floats because it's a lot lighter than the air around us. It ignites because it's flammable.
Trick #2: The Dutchman's Flying Ghost Ship Screengrab from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/Youtube.com What you’ll need: A clear tank Water Pitcher Dry ice Tin foil The secret ingredient: Sulfur hexafluoride gas
What to do: Set up 1. Fill the tank with sulfur hexafluoride gas. 2. Fill your pitcher about 1/4 of the way with hot water. 3. Make a boat-shape with the tin foil. Perform 4. Put a few blocks of dry ice into your pitcher of hot water. Be careful when handling dry ice! 5. The dry ice in hot water will create a fog in your pitcher. Pour this fog in your tank. You’ll notice that the fog will only glide on top of your tank of sulfur hexafluoride gas creating a beautiful water-like waves effect. 6. Once your tank is looking like a transparent ocean with a sea foam fog, place your boat on top of the gas, push it gently across the tank and watch as your ghostly ship glides on air!
The ship will be able to float on the transparent gas because sulfur hexafluoride is much heavier than air and can therefore support the weight of the boat.
Trick #3: Monster's Growl: Voice Transformation Screengrab from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/Youtube.com What You'll Need: Balloons The secret ingredient: sulfur hexafluoride gas
What to do: Set up 1. Inflate your balloons with sulfur hexafluoride gas. Perform 2. Take a balloon and inhale some of the gas through your mouth. 3. Say “Welcome! Welcome!” in your best Dracula impression.
Your voice will sound deeper because it has to pass through the heavy sulfur hexafluoride gas. With helium, it’s the other way around. Because helium is lighter than air, sound passes through it quickly making your voice sound high-pitched in the process.
Trick #4: The Disappearing Act Screengrab from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/Youtube.com What you'll need: Bucket Hot water Protective gear The secret ingredient: liquid nitrogen
What to do: Set up 1. Pour liquid nitrogen into a bucket; the more liquid nitrogen, the more fog. Perform 2. Dump all the hot water into the bucket. Be prepared for a giant explosion of fog right before your eyes!