It strikes me sometimes when I look over what I write, that I could come across as downtrodden, rather cynical and generally a grump… I do hope that’s not the case!

It’s just that when life is going well, I seize it with both hands and whatever other appendages I have available, hold on tight and enjoy the ride. It’s usually fairly quick, so rather easily miss-able. There’s simply no time to write or blog or anything much else if I want to truly experience the Happy – which I do. My blog suffers as a result.

Time for a Happy!

The Daughter is growing quite beautifully, and thanks to a very special school, is thriving and learning. She is especially interested in science and since I am delving into biology we talk a great deal about all things scientific. (For instance, did you know that the planet Uranus was initially called George? – ponder, enjoy and delight in this wonderful fact!)

The Daughter and Little Man are on the verge of adolescence and getting quite grown up, but are still delighted and tickled by such words as bottom, bum, poo, wee, naked! Oh the joys and revels and laughter produced by such simple syllables!

Imagine the reaction, therefore, when I announced to her that I would be stripping an egg naked while she was at school, ready for some Science! Oh yes… stripping… an egg… naked!

You could, of course, now interrupt your reading of my little page to scurry off to Google. There are many, many entries for naked egg. And you would learn much the same as you will from here. But here!!  oh me, oh my the wonders, the glories, the Happies that naked egg produced!!!!!

This activity is one I have long put off due to the time required in waiting. My littles are not so expert at waiting, and I felt that this would put a damper on the fun. How wrong I was! Waiting for each stage simply prolonged the joy!

So… step 1:

An egg, from a humble chicken (thank you dear friend and neighbour H for your chicken’s offering) has a shell – this one was brown, though H’s chickens also lay white and green (oh yes, green!!!) eggs. Whatever the colour, the shell is made up largely of calcium carbonate. It keeps the insides in and the outside out, all but air and such like needed by a potential chick to develop.

Our egg after 24 hours. The brown has dissolved, leaving a softer white shell… 24 more hours in a bath of fresh vinegar

This egg was placed in a cup full of vinegar, also known as acetic acid. Then left for 48 hours.

As soon as the shell came into contact with the vinegar – immediately, astoundingly fast – bubbles!!! Bubbles began to cover the egg, and such was their power that the egg began to rotate of its own accord in the glass. It may be mentioned here that bubbles are one of life’s great wonders and joys. There are even scientists dedicated to the study of bubbles… bubble specialists, how wonderful!

For those of you interested:

CaCo3 + 2Ch3COOH → Ca(CH3COO)2 +  H2O + CO2

calcium carbonate + acetic acid → calcium acetate + water + carbon dioxide

Those bubbles are carbon dioxide.

Once disrobed, you will have a naked egg!!! Which, it turns out, is ever so slightly bigger than the egg in its shell…hmmm, and soft and squishy and translucent – we could clearly see the yolk through the membrane!

Photo

The Naked Egg

Photo

The yolk in shadow.

This in itself was a glorious moment. The waiting had truly been worthwhile, because the Naked Egg is a thing of beauty and wonder. Even when you know what will happen, you will find yourself amazed and grinning like a silly thing at the craziness of the Naked Egg.

Step Two… call it torture, or inquisitiveness…

The Naked Egg was placed back in its cup, and covered with Golden Syrup. The Daughter declared it a shameful waste of such yumminess, but I and the Father agreed that Science was a much better use of the sticky stuff than pudding. There followed much bending of spoons to keep the Naked Egg submerged, but eventually it was trapped in the gooey stuff and left for a further 24 hours…

Oh that poor egg…

The entire Family was caught in rictuses (or is it rictii?) of revulsion as intense as the joy of seeing the Naked Egg for the first time. What had happened to our poor Egg? It had shrunk, shrivelled, become as baggy as those fabled bingo wings of elderly, rather unfit ladies.

Photo

The Naked Egg… after a night in Golden Syrup. Clearly not to be used as a night cream!

The Daughter proposed that the air had been sucked out of the Egg. The Little agreed. But the the Daughter noticed an equally wondrous effect that changed her hypothesis: the Golden Syrup was no longer thick and unctuous, but had become watery and far less appetising for that change! The Daughter thus hypothesised that water, not air had been sucked out of her Egg.

There was much mourning over the condition of the Egg, and Daughter and Little both thought that our experiment had reached its end.

Oh no!! There is a Step Three:

After a rinse, the Naked Egg was placed in its cup once again, and this time covered with water that had been tinged with red food colouring.

The Daugher’s hypothesis was that the Egg would grow once more, and become red…

Photo

The Naked Egg recovered!

Is that not a thing of beauty? And the transformation this time was much more rapid! After a mere 4 or 5 hours, it had already regained its composure! Two more questions remained:

  1. Is the water inside the egg red? Has the colour as well as the water been able to cross the membrane?
  2. Will it bounce?

Will it bounce????? you ask. Well. Of course!!! It’s round (ish), soft and squishy. As Little said, it feels like a balloon. Once cannot fail to bounce the thing!

With much trepidation, the Daughter attempted a tiny teeny bounce…

A little higher…

(The Father, upon seeing the video later was horrified to see we were attempting this over his lovely wooden kitchen counter, with an egg filled with potentially red dye!)

The egg… DID bounce!!! And it was a thing of beauty, of joy and bated breath!

Sad to say, I cannot post a video here…

Sad to say, when Little attempted his first bounce, he was about 2mm more ambitious than his sister.

Sad to say, the Egg did not survive…

Of course, upon landing, the Naked Egg did BURST!!! And our first question was answered… was the water in the egg clear or red???

It. was. CLEAR! The red colouring had penetrated the membrane but not got all the way through!!

Photo

The Naked Egg… undone!

Photo

Only its membrane was red… and solid and rubbery… and Smelly!

And thus, the story of the Naked Egg reaches its end!

it began on a Thursday evening, and continued until Sunday afternoon. The Naked Egg provided the Daughter, the Little, the Father and myself with smiles, wonder, giggles, disgust, anticipation, fear and curiosity satisfied. Not bad for a little egg!

Advertisements