How Much Salt Does it Take to Float an Egg?

One of the best ways to familiarize students with the simple principles of science is by assigning interesting projects to them. A popular school science activity is to ask them to experiment using salt, egg and water. In addition to salinity, this experiment will also improve their knowledge about buoyancy. Get to know more about these interesting scientific principles by learning how much salt is needed to float an egg.

The Amount of Salt Needed to Float an Egg

How much salt does it take to float an egg? In a nice clean container filled with 2 cups of water, at least 8 teaspoons of salt are needed to make an egg float. When salt is added to water, the liquid becomes denser, which makes it possible to float various kinds of objects such as kiwis, eggs and other less dense objects. Adding more amounts of salt allows the liquid to make heavier things float. The same concept applies in the case of Dead Sea also where people can easily float. The Dead Sea is also called Salt Sea and it is one of the saltiest water bodies on Earth.

Experiment Showing Egg Floating in Water

Doing the following experiment is relatively simple yet no less exciting.

Materials Required for the Experiment

You will require basic, simple and easy-to-find materials for this experiment. They include:

  • water
  • a container
  • salt
  • an egg

Instructions to Conduct the Experiment

The following simple steps are involved in conducting this experiment.

  • Take the container and fill it with water.
  • Take the egg and gently place it within the water. Watch it sink.
  • Now, add a tablespoon of salt to the water and dissolve it to ensure that it gets distributed within the water.
  • Keep adding more salt, one tablespoon at a time and watch what happens.
  • You will see that the egg will gradually begin to float as the salinity of the water increases.

Inference of the Experiment

What we infer from this experiment is that initially, when we put the egg in the container filled with water, the density of the egg was more than that of the water. As you begin to add salt, the density of the water increases and this enables the egg to begin to float.

With the help of this simple experiment, students can easily learn basic yet highly important scientific principles like water buoyancy as well as water salinity. Likewise, it only shows that the presence of salt in liquid can increase the water’s density, allowing various kinds of objects to float. So, for those who may be wondering why people easily float when they try to swim in the Dead Sea, now, you know why that happens! The very same principle that makes an egg float in water applies to the interesting phenomenon of making people float in the Dead Sea. Being one of the saltiest water bodies on earth, it has a very high level of density and so, has the ability to make objects float in it.

Tips and Warnings

Keep the following simple tips and warnings in mind when you do this experiment:

  • Make sure that the egg is not cracked before you begin the experiment.
  • Try to use pure water for the experiment so that the impurities do not hinder with the results of the experiment.
  • To watch the egg float midway through a glass of water, add a tablespoon of salt to the glass of water, without stirring it. Drop the egg and watch it float midway in the glass.
  • This experiment can be used to check if an egg is rotten or fresh. If the egg sinks to the bottom of the glass, the egg is fresh and if it floats, it is rotten. This happens due to the presence of the air sac within the egg. When the egg is rotten, the air sac fills with more air that passes through the egg’s semi-permeable membrane and makes it float in the water.

This experiment is perfect for children because it will manage to hold their attention and also teach them simple yet important concepts such as buoyancy and salinity.

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