2 Ingredient Oobleck

2 Ingredient Oobleck

Oobleck: The Mysterious Non-Newtonian Fluid That Dances Between Solid and Liquid

Imagine a substance that behaves like a solid when you punch it or squeeze it but flows like a liquid when you gently move your fingers through it. Such a material may seem like a fascinating concept from science fiction, but it actually exists! This peculiar material is called Oobleck – a non-Newtonian fluid that defies our understanding of ordinary liquids and solids. In this blog, we will delve into the fascinating world of Oobleck, understanding its unique properties, how it’s made, and even its scientific and educational significance.

The term “Oobleck” comes from the Dr. Seuss book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck,” in which a gooey green substance fell from the sky and wreaked havoc on the kingdom. Although Dr. Seuss’s Oobleck differs from the scientifically observed non-Newtonian fluid, the name has stuck. The concoction we know today as Oobleck was developed in the 1940s and can be made by simply mixing cornstarch and water in the right proportions.

The Science Behind Oobleck: A Non-Newtonian Fluid

Oobleck stands out from other fluids due to its distinctive behavior as a non-Newtonian fluid. Ordinary Newtonian fluids (e.g., water, honey) have a consistent viscosity or “thickness” that stays the same regardless of the forces acting upon them. In contrast, non-Newtonian fluids change their viscosity under different amounts of applied force or pressure.

Oobleck is classified as a shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluid, which means it behaves more like a solid when it experiences increased forces or pressure (e.g., being squeezed or hit). Conversely, when you allow it to flow slowly or face less external force, it acts like a liquid, flowing smoothly and easily.

This strange behavior is due to the microscopic structure of Oobleck. The two main components of Oobleck are cornstarch particles and water. When a mild force is applied, the water between the cornstarch particles allows them to glide past each other, behaving like a liquid. However, when a sudden or strong force is applied, the cornstarch particles become tightly packed and resist movement, creating a temporary solid-like structure.


Creating Your Own Oobleck

One of the most exciting aspects of Oobleck is that you can easily make it at home using just two ingredients: cornstarch and water. To make your own Oobleck, you’ll need:

1. 2 cups of cornstarch
2. 1 cup of water ( we added food colouring for colour)
3. A large bowl for mixing
4. A spoon or your hands for mixing

Simply pour the cornstarch into the bowl, add water gradually while mixing, and continue stirring until you achieve a smooth, pudding-like consistency. You should now have your very own batch of Oobleck!

Oobleck will store for a few days in a sealed container in the fridge.

We had lots fun experimenting with the solid and liquid state that Oobleck forms, Maddison loved the liquid dripping and forming into a solid.


Oobleck in Education and Scientific Applications

Oobleck has gained popularity as a fun and educational tool for individuals of all ages. Its unique properties spur curiosity and fascination among children, making it an excellent way to introduce them to scientific concepts such as the states of matter, Newton’s laws, and viscosity.

Furthermore, Oobleck has even inspired innovative scientific applications in various fields. Researchers have begun to experiment with shear-thickening fluids like Oobleck to develop “smart” protective gear capable of becoming rigid upon impact, providing protection from injuries without hindering movement.

To add to your STEM experience check out the Oobleck on speaker videos on YouTube to watch it dance to the sound vibrations.

For more activities go to our blog page.


Oobleck truly is a marvel of science that provides endless fascination and opportunities for learning. With its unique behavior and the ability to make it at home, Oobleck is an excellent tool for educators, parents, and children alike. It is a substance that reminds us of the vast and mysterious wonders still to be discovered in the realm of science. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and explore the curious world of Oobleck!



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Author - Jodie Lowen

Jodie Lowen is the owner of Wheatbelt Kids and a mother of two. She lives in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia and has worked in education for many years. Jodie is passionate about social media marketing and using online platforms to build community connections.

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