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Drinking Candle

Title: Fun experiment showing a candle defying gravity by pulling water upwards.


In this experiment, we will do a simple experiment that shows a burning candle pulling water underneath it

Difficulty: Easy , but need adult supervision


1.A plate, preferably a porcelain plate

2.A small candle

3.Water, preferably water with some food coloring added

4.An Erlenmeyer flask or a similar jar to cover the candle

5.A lighter to light the candle


1.Light the candle and stick it to the porcelain plate

2.Add some colored water to the plate

3.Cover the candle with the flask

4.You can see the water getting sucked into the flask. Here is a cool video

How It Works:

There is a chemical and physical reaction in this experiment. A candle is made of paraffin wax, a hydrocarbon with formula CnH2n+2. When a candle is lit, the paraffin reacts with the oxygen in the atmosphere producing water and Carbon dioxide. For n=1, the equation is

2O2 + CH4 = CO2 + 2H2O

When the candle is covered by a jar or flask, it limits the air within the flask and all the oxygen is used up in the flask. As a result, the candle will go out. When the candle was burning, it heats the air around it resulting in the air expanding. When the flame goes out, the air cools down and compresses resulting in a low pressure area within the flask. This results in the water getting sucked into the flask

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