Mental Floss

Watch Oobleck Withstand High-Speed Projectiles in Slow Motion

Andrew LaSane

Oobleck—a combination of water and cornstarch named after the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck—is probably familiar to anyone who ever made silly putty in grade school science classes, but the material can be a whole lot of fun for adults too. The Backyard Scientist recently conducted a series of experiments to see how oobleck differs from water in the way that it resists various projectiles. Each experiment was filmed with a high-speed camera, resulting in some amazing slow motion shots of those moments of impact.

The Backyard Scientist and Mark Rober explain that oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that it's "a substance that depending on the strain rate, is either a solid or a liquid." The pair poured oobleck into some balloons and put it to the test against a chainsaw blade, some BB pellets, golf balls shot from a custom-made cannon, and firecrackers. The video is more about oobleck's bizarre behavior and less about the chemistry, but sometimes glorious slo-mo footage is just what you need to fully appreciate the weird and wonderful ways of science.

Images via YouTube.