Egg in a Bottle

Egg in a bottleEver fancied squeezing an egg into a bottle? No? Well, it’s a kind of perennial physics demonstration that science teachers the world over love to do. I could simply describe how to do it and the results you might expect, but that would be no fun at all. Instead, I spent a good ten minutes scanning videos on the net where individuals attempted to carry out this experiment, some of them more successfully than others. Most handling naked flames and solvents (methylated spirits and the like) in a non-laboratory setting with absolutely no safety equipment (not even goggles) in sight.

More importantly though, most of these experimenters managed to get most of the egg in the bottle, but usually the egg split and simply splurted into the bottle rather than squeezing through the neck and plopping into the bottle intact.

In this video, the “researchers” succeeded in getting a nice squeeze and plop (far better even than the Brainiac team in their attempt).

The key to their success is apparently using a bottle with a nice wide neck. Most of the other videos try to use a beer bottle or something similar which constricts the egg as it squeezes through the opening and splits it.

So, how does it work? What mysterious force is pulling the egg into the bottle? Well, the answer is there is no mystery it is simply air pressure pushing down on the egg. But, wait a minute, what’s the burning paper got to do with air pressure?

Okay, here’s the short of it. Dropping a burning spill (or burning piece of paper into a bottle) and the air in the bottle will quickly expand and a small volume escapes. When the hard-boiled egg (with the shell removed) is placed into the opening, the spill goes out, the remaining gas cools and contracts and the greater outside air pressure pushes the moist flexible egg into the hole nicely.

If you use a nice moist egg and a bottle with a wide enough neck you’ll get a nice squeeze and plop. Anyone who has a use for a hard-boiled egg covered in burnt paper stuck in a bottle is welcome to contact us at Sciencebase with their ideas. Additionally, if you know how to get the egg out again without breaking the bottle leave us you thoughts in the comment form.

45 thoughts on “Egg in a Bottle”

  1. To get the egg back out simply turn the bottle upside down so the egg seals in the neck. Then put the bottle under hot running water. The same principal pushes the egg out that got it in there to begin with. We did learn something from the experiment, right?

  2. you want to get the egg out of the bottle without breaking the jar well heres the answer blow inside the jar or suck the egg out of the bottle

  3. to get the egg out of the bottle, you just have to place your lips inside of it.(not outside, because when the egg comes out, it may go into your throat.) Anyway, once your in place, you blow out about twice.**Shouldn’t take anymore than 3 blows. Once you blow, take your mouth away before the eggs hits your face! Trust me, this works. We tried this in my Science class. It was so much fun(:

  4. To get it out, turn the bottle over so the egg plugs the opening from the inside. Blow hard into the bottle. The egg will pop out.

  5. I’m going to try this for my science fair project in a few days and i have tested it, it came out 100% positive and so this kind of thing is brilliant!

  6. using a straw, blow air into the bottle while gently pulling the straw out the egg will shoot out!

  7. I did this for my assesment in class it was so cool because it went so fast and we used like 3 boxes of matches cause the mathes wouldn’t all light so we would have to start all over again.

  8. that experiment was pretty awsome im planning on doing this for my science fair project coming up on march 11th

  9. to get the egg out without breaking the bottle:
    1)get a fork and break the egg up or,
    2) turn the bottle upside down and blow air into it and it will slip out( hard to catch n becareful)

  10. Turn the bottle udside down. Blow into the bottle. The pressure of to much air in the bottle will force the egg without breaking the bottle. Watch out for the ashes. Or better yet before getting the egg out rinse and clean out the ash before blowing into the bottle.

  11. cool , thank you alot you helped me and my freind in our science experiment alot thank you once again oh and i liked your video it was funy but i had to twist my head hahaha laugh out loud

  12. Freezer? No. At least not for more than 10 minutes. I doubt that a frozen egg would ever come out of the bottle.

    Putting it in the refrigerator might prove helpful, though. But the bottle must be upright. The egg should not prevent air from entering as the cooling air in the bottle contracts. Then take it out, turn it upside down and heat (gently, with a hair dryer. Those suggesting fire scare me).

  13. Turn bottle over so egg is hanging out of the bottom.

    Put bottle in freezer upside down.

    Remove from freezer.

    Heat bottle with fire!!!

    Egg should pop out.
    (or bottle breaks)

  14. Interesting solution Kyler, but like you say you run the risk of getting a sooty hard-boiled egg shoved down your throat in the process, I’d want a safer way of getting the egg out than that, to be honest.

    db

  15. Getting the egg out of the bottle is just as easy, if not easier than getting it in. You simply just have to tip it upside down, put your mouth around the end of the bottle so you create a seal, and blow up into the bottle, just be careful because the egg will shoot out of the bottle and if you arent careful, it will shoot down your throat. Only do this if you dont mind potentially getting some ash in your mouth..its gross..but it will work everytime.

  16. “Spill” is another word for a splinter. Usually, in such an experiment one would use a thin piece of light wood that would be lit and dropped into the bottle.

    db

  17. Where do u put the burning paper?How does it spill?What is the material u need to make it spill?

  18. heyyy… i am doing the egg in the bottle 4 a science far thank you 4 your anformation :)

  19. I JUX LUV DIZ SCIENCE PROJECT IM THINKIN BOUT DOIN DIZ…ANY MORE OF THESE SCIENCE PROJECT…?WELL JUX TELL ME….

    LUV ALWAYZ,
    ANN!3

    THANKS!!!!!!!!!

  20. dat was kool i’m doin dat for my science project kool now how do u get tha egg out!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. This post is a perennial favourite on Sciencebase. Has anyone recorded a video better than the one I show here. It would be nice to update the post with something more exciting.

    db

  22. No need to worry about tri-pods and flames, simply tip the bottle upside down and heat the air inside with a hair dryer. The egg will “pop” right back out.

  23. Hi Jeff, I emailed you offlist too, but here are a few key phrases to help you seek out more information what is happening physically and chemically in the egg in a bottle experiment:

    Thermal expansion and contraction. Pressure gradients. Protein structure and elasticity. Thermal denaturation of proteins that lead to the solidification of albumen. Combustion chemistry. Soot formation. Gases in the atmosphere.

  24. My son and I are thinking of how the egg in the bottle experiment
    helps give insight into other phenomena in the world. What phenomena
    in the world can be explained by the laws of physics which dictate
    the egg entering the bottle.

    Jeff

  25. There are lots of pictures of this on the web that might be usable in this context without copyright problems. Alternatively, why not simply photograph the experiment as you do it, then you will have your very own photograph for the title page.

  26. get the egg out again? Sounds like a reverse problem. Get a tripod and suspend the bottle upside down, so that the egg is at the bottom. Then get a fireproof container able to engulf the tripod+bottle, light some paper under the tripod, and cover the thing completely with the fireproof container. I would expect this to work in reverse, but you’ll need even more paper.

  27. Glad you spotted the deliberate mistake! I’ve edited accordingly.

    Great idea on how to get it out again.

  28. Isn’t it just that the flame heats the gas, causing it to expand. Then when the egg is placed on the bottleneck the chamber becomes sealed, and as the gas is cooled down in the bottle it begins to shrink and that causes a pressure decrease, sucking down the egg.

  29. Couldn’t you use another bottle to get the egg out, one with a slightly smaller neck? If you put the first one upside down on top , and then wait till the egg is pulled halfway through, it seems like you should be able to grab it. Alternatively, chop the egg up inside the bottle – it would be ruined, but the bottle would be unbroken!

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