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🐸 Frog Unit Study

Float or Sink❓Tangerine 🍊 Science Experiment (Science 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇)

Today, we are conducting a science experiment, by placing two tangerines in water: one whole and another one peeled and observing which one will sink and which one will float❓


What you need:

  • two tangerines (you can also use oranges or clementines),
  • a see-through container or a deep bowl,
  • water,
  • a tray (buy ours here).

Instructions: Fill the container with water. Place a tangerine in the water and watch what happens. Peel the other tangerine and place it in the water as well. What happens this time? 

DSC_0005Sinking tangerine -  floating peel.

DSC_0012-2Unpeeled tangerine is heavier, so why does the peeled tangerine (the lighter one) sink?

Can you imagine that by peeling a tangerine (that is by taking something away/making it lighter), you are actually making a tangerine denser, allowing it to sink! 

Science mystery revealed: the skin of the tangerine is full of tiny air pockets which help give it a lower density than water, making it float to the surface (just like a floaty is holding a child in the pool). So when you peel a tangerine, even though you remove mass/the skin and all the air pockets, thus making it lighter, the inside of the tangerine is denser, so the tangerine increases its density higher than that of water, making it sink.

Science factsDensity is the mass of an object relative to its volume. Objects with a lot of matter in a certain volume have a high density, while objects with a small amount of matter in the same volume have a low density.

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