You may remember Oobleck from your elementary school days when you were learning the difference between liquids and solids—it's an easy-to-make rebellious mixture that insists on being both. It's a non-Newtonian fluid, which means its ability to resist infiltration is based on the speed of an object hitting its the surface; toothpaste, blood, shampoo and (notably) ketchup are common examples. And, as demonstrated in a video by The Discovery Slow Down, it's not just a for kids. If only we had known the possibilities as we sat in our 9-year-old bodies carefully eying up the mystery mix, we probably would've had a much better day at school.
Check out this video showing all that Oobleck has to offer:
The Oobleck 'sandbox' at the end of the video is a classic—quicksand, of course, being a canonical non-Newtonian fluid—but the best part of the video might be around 45 seconds in, when the small spikes of the mixture start crowdsurfing like bits of Flubber in response to bass vibrations. If you had completely forgotten about this curious concoction and need a reminder on how to make your own blend, there's a great recipe on wikiHow, but seeing as it consists only of water and cornstarch, it's safe to say you can't really mess it up.
While we obviously have a thing for designer toys (like this wonderfully over-the-top rubber band machine gun), sometimes it's better to stick to the basics—and it doesn't get much more rudimentary than Oobleck. (Fun fact: The name "Oobleck" comes from a Dr. Seuss story called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.) Plus, you'll probably have more fun rediscovering it as an adult than the child or preteen you're introducing it to.
Check out more rad science hacks on the Discovery Slow Down YouTube channel.