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;
- a tray.
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?
Even if you push an unpeeled tangerine down, it will keep popping up to the surface. However, if you remove the skin, the tangerine will sink right to the bottom.
Unpeeled tangerine is heavier, so why does the peeled tangerine (the lighter one) 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 more dense, so the tangerine increases its density higher than that of water, making it sink.
Science facts: Density 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.
Offer this fun density science experiment to your children and ask them what do they think? It is a fun way to learn the unique characteristic of a citrus fruit!
For more on science water experiments, see here a post "Primary Colors, 💧Water & Tissue Paper Capillary Action Timelapse Science Experiment (Rainbow Walking Water)."