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Ghostly Glowing Eggs

Ghostly Glowing Eggs

October 12, 2021

October is here and with October comes spooky activities and decorations. Try this experiment that examines an interesting reaction between eggshells and vinegar, but with a glowing twist. This requires only a few ingredients and you likely have  most on hand. Be sure to use tonic water and not simple carbonated water. Tonic water includes an ingredient known as quinine which comes from the bark of the cinchona tree and when used in this experiment will give your eggs an ethereal glow under blacklight!

Items Needed:

-       Eggs

-       A clear jar or container

-       Tonic Water

-       Vinegar

-       A Blacklight or blacklight lightbulb in lamp

-       Optional Sharpie



1.     Fill a clear jar ¾ full with equal parts of tonic water and vinegar.

2.     Fully submerge an egg in the jar. If you want touse more eggs you may as long as you ensure the eggs are fully submerged.

3.     Observe! Watch the eggs over the next few days and make note of any changes or reactions in the jar. What do you think will happen?

4.     Within 2 to 3 days it’ll be time to explore the eggs. Carefully remove them from the jar. What do you notice about the shells?

5.     The shells should have disintegrated and when placing them under a blacklight they will glow!


How Did the Egg Become Shell-less? Why do they glow?

The vinegar completely dissolves the eggshells leaving behind a ghostly membrane. The acid in the vinegar breaks down the shell because the acetic acid reacts with the calcium carbonate in the eggshells and breaks down leaving behind the semipermeable membrane around the egg. The ghostly glow around the egg is from the tonic water. Tonic water contains quinine, which fluoresces under ultraviolet light. Shine on, ghost eggs!

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