Blood is complicated: it changes texture, color and thickness depending on where it's flowing from and how fast. Though you can make a convincing fake blood with water, food coloring, flour and corn syrup, getting the proportions right depends on a scientific understanding of the context in which your fake blood is appearing.
For example, if you want to simulate the blood of a geyser-flowing limb amputation, you want to go darker and less red than an old-fashioned blood spatter, and the drier the blood is, the more coagulated (and thus browny-black) it becomes.
Robbie Gonzalez's guide to the science of fake blood is a great resource for adding much-needed verisimilitude to your costume, party, or haunt.
Blood's creepy phase changes might be the hardest thing to reproduce in your blender at home, but thickening agents—like all-purpose flour and cornstarch—can help you dial in a more believable consistency. (Plus, they have the added benefit of making your homebrew blood less see-through and more opaque like the real thing.) If you're adding to the cup of corn syrup that you started with, try adding your thickening agent one teaspoon at a time.
Continue varying your proportions of water, syrup, dye, and flour until you've produced a batch of blood in just the style you want. Don't be afraid to experiment: Try a few different formulations. Use dark corn syrup, or chocolate syrup, instead of the clear stuff, for a darker base mixture. Just remember: Like the real thing, fake blood has a tendency to stain. So wear an apron and keep your blender's lid on—unless you want your kitchen to look like a crime scene.
Water, Flour, Syrup, Dye: Mastering the Elements of Fake Blood [Robbie Gonzalez/Wired]
Thirty years ago today, the Voyager 1 spaceprobe had completed its ncounters with the outer planets and was careening out of our solar system. The time came to shut off the probes’ cameras to preserve power and memory for the other onboard scientific instruments. But before engineers flipped the switch, one last photo opportunity was […]
While scientists have studied Moon rocks for 50 years, researchers have for the first time conducted deep analysis on a single grain of lunar dust, atom by atom. Using a common materials science technique called atom probe tomography that’s not widely used by geologists, the Chicago Field Museum’s Jennika Greer and colleagues probed the grain […]
This is so amazing. Watch what happens when a blacksmithing anvil is lowered into a large vat of pure liquid mercury. Update: One of our readers posted the link to the original video in the comments. I have replaced the animated GIF. Thanks, Crispy75. [H/t Alberto Gaitán via Bryce Lynch] Image: Screengrab from GIF
You kill it at the gym all week, your nutrition is dialed in, and you’re drinking so much water that your spare time is spent walking back and forth to the bathroom (way to get those steps in!)—so how do you take things to the next level? By focusing on recovery. A proper post-workout routine, […]
Everybody wears socks, even presidents, but not everybody wears sophisticated, ultra-comfortable socks made with bamboo yarn that offers softness, ventilation, and durability. So with all these DeadSoxy socks on sale for Presidents’ Day, why not use this opportunity to make those hard-working feet of yours happier than they’ve ever been? With styles for work and […]
If you’re looking to read more in 2020, you probably wish you had more time to get that done. Well, we can’t create more hours in the day (we’re mad about it too), but we can help you maximize those hours. Catch up on that book list and get ahead of the game when you […]