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Megan had heard about this experiment and wanted to try it out, and since I had all the ingredients on hand, we decided to do it.


  • Plastic water bottle with cap (empty)
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Food Coloring
  • Hot glue gun (optional)


First, fill the bottle about 2/3 full with water.  Add some food coloring, usually blue or green.DSCN0220


My ever patient mom in the background!


Next, fill the rest of the bottle with oil, and secure the cap tightly.  You may want to add some hot glue around the cap to make a stronger seal, just in case.




Presto! You now have an ocean in a bottle.  Tipping the bottle from side to side will create virtual waves inside the bottle.




This project is quick, easy, and colorful, and can also be used as a springboard for discussion on a variety of topics.  Solubility, density, and emulsions are all topics that can be tied in with this experiment.  It also makes a great visual for units on oceans or waves, and can be used to discuss how oil spills affect the environment.  Plus, it looks pretty darn cool!