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World's Largest Baking Soda Volcano Erupts in Oregon

World's Largest Baking Soda Volcano Erupts in Oregon
Issue Time:2017-08-12
World's Largest Baking Soda Volcano Erupts in Oregon
Remember that science experiment from grade school—the one with the baking soda and the vinegar? Think: faux "lava," red food coloring, and stained newspaper. Yup, that one. No matter how awe-inspiring you believed your makeshift volcano to be back in the day, a recent project in Oregon definitely has it one-upped.

A whopping 34-feet-high volcano just might have been the world's largest baking soda volcano...ever. So, what prompted the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to improve on the elementary school version? Turns out its staff was hoping to break a very official Guinness World Record—not just for the world's largest baking soda volcano, but also for the world's largest baking soda volcano eruption.

The previous record, which is currently held by Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School in the U.K., was for a 28-foot tall volcano that yielded a 4-foot eruption.
OMSI's volcano, which was constructed from pipes, tarps, and scaffolding, was filled with 66 gallons of vinegar, as well as 50 gallons of a baking soda and water mixture. 3,000 people in attendance looked on as the explosion occurred, and another 72,000 watched over on the livestream posted to Facebook.

Alas, we can't be certain just yet whether this is really the world's tallest and most explosive baking soda volcano. According to The Oregonion, "OMSI will not know for sure that they have set the Guinness World Record for at least 2-3 months." But the museum's event planner, Sonali Shivadsani, told the outlet that the volcano "hit around 6-8 feet beyond [the height of the structure]," which would indeed make OMSI the new record-holder.

You probably won't have much luck duplicating those kinds of results at home with your kids. Luckily, we can think of a few other fun things to do with baking soda.