HOWTO make a 9-layer density column

Steve Spangler shows you how to create a nine-layer density column with seven objects suspended in it. This would be great fun to do at home on a rainy afternoon (or a sunny afternoon, if your kids are goths).

Amazing 9 Layer Density Tower - Sick Science! #013 (via Beth Pratt)


  1. I’m impressed not so much by the fact that they got nine layers, but by the use of really everyday liquids. When I saw the headline I immediately thought ‘oh, well they probably used mercury and chloroform and who knows what’. But this is something anyone could put together – really well done!
    If I did this I might put the objects in as the appropriate liquid layers were added, rather than plop them in at the end. Less cross-layer contamination that way.

      1. Indeed, the liquor store is an effective but rather pricey way to acquire them – you have to buy approximately 26xN of them at a time, where N is the desired number of layers.

        1. Most of the recipes I’ve seen call for fairly commonly-used liqueurs for the layers, so anyone who’s moderately serious about their home bar won’t have a problem using them in other things. The real commitment is for time, as it takes more than a bit of care and a very steady hand to prepare them, especially if you have more than a few guests or more than about four layers (and if you do, then you’re just a show-off).

          1. The AWOL – Midori, pineapple juice, vodka, 151 Rum.  Ignite.

            The Atomic Truffle – Crème de Cacao, Chambord*, vodka, Rum 151.  Ignite.

            Blow out before quaffing.  Do not try to sip cocktails with a Rum 151 float, or you’ll get a mouthful of superheated super-alcohol.  Toss the whole thing back and allow to mix in your mouth.

            And Shelley, we’re all still really sorry about setting you on fire right before Christmas.

            *Use your Chambord within six months; it goes bad.

  2. With the exception of the lamp oil and solid items, I think this concoction is okay to pour down the drain.
    What’s the correct disposal for the lamp oil, once you’ve been sufficiently amused?

    1. put a wick in it and burn it off (“eyyy put a wick in it!”:  catch phrase for a naughty new sitcom involving 5 young people living in close proximity)

  3. This reminds me of a cocktail a friend and I tried to invent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. (We were speculating that Lenin would be buried and his tomb would be turned into a nightclub.)

    The cocktail was called “The Soviet Union” and, like a Tequila Sunrise, would consist of layers–although in this case fifteen separate layers.

    Unfortunately we couldn’t make it past more than three or four layers since, unlike the column above, we wanted ours to be drinkable.

  4. Admittedly, I can’t watch the video til I get home tonight, but is the layer between Milk and Maple Syrup really labelled ‘DIE’?

    That’s hardcore right there…

Comments are closed.