Eggs-traordinary eggs-periments for the curious

Fun for all ages. Impress your friends and family with egg magic tricks.

With Easter almost upon us eggs become a dominant feature of our lives.   Here are some fun things to do and may well engage enquiring minds of all ages during the school and bank holiday. We all know the joys of eating eggs in any number of different ways and the magic they bring to our cooking.  But have you ever managed to bounce an egg, dissolve the shell, made one float or even been able to distinguish whether the egg is raw or hardboiled without cracking it open - read on!

Can you dissolve the shell?

This is nice and easy.  All you need is some vinegar, a glass and an egg.  Place the egg carefully in the glass and then pour in enough vinegar to fully cover it.  Leave it for 24 - 48 hours and when you return the shell will have vanished, leaving the egg in it's membrane clearly visible, quite a wonderous sight.  How does this magic happen?  Vinegar is an acid, eggshells are made of calcium carbonate and by soaking the egg in the vinegar the shell absorbs the acid and breaks down/dissolve.

Cracked eggs at The Cottage BeyondCan eggs bounce?

Clearly not when dropped from a height onto a hard floor.  But if you have done the experiment above and dissolved the shell, by leaving the egg in the vinegar a little while longer, you will be able to feel the outside of what remains turning rubbery.  It's turned into a bouncy egg.  Just a warning - it's not a tough, bouncy egg but one that can be gently bounced from a short height.  Start from a couple of inches from a smooth surface, slowly increasing the distance before it'll finally go splat.  All great fun.

Is the egg hard boiled or raw?

A nice challenge to try on your friends.  Firstly hard boil one egg, 10 minutes should do it, and cool it down to room temperature.  Then present your friends with the hard boiled egg and a similar raw one and ask them to tell you which is which, without cracking them open.  Your friends will probably try shaking them, squeezing them, weighing and feeling them but the trick is to spin them.  A hard boilded egg will spin faster and longer than a raw egg because the inside is solid, so the entire thing is one solid mass. The raw egg has liquid on the inside, which is not attached to the shell. The liquid inside it much harder to spin, and it slows the egg down much faster.  Magic!

Is the egg fresh or stale?

If your egg stock control has got out of order and you want to distinguish between the freshest and stalist of your eggs, simply place them in a bowl of tap water.  Eggs have an air cell that becomes bigger as they age and so the older they are, the bigger the air cell and the more boyant they become.  Fresh eggs sink to the bottom and stale eggs rise towards the top depending on age.  Think of it like a life jacket, the older the egg, the bigger it's lifejacket becomes - very handy.The egg freshness test at TCB

Want to make a fresh egg float?

If all you have is fresh eggs and you want to impress your friends by getting them to float.  Fill a glass with salty water, the more salt the higher the egg floats.  In the photo below, both the eggs were laid today, one was placed in a glass with tap water, the other had salt added.  It's rather like swimming in the sea, you know how much easier it is to float in salty water, well the principle here is the same.  All to do with water density.

Paint them, Roll them.

Hard boil some eggs, get friends and family to decorate them and then find a suitable slope to have a rolling competion.  Always fun to do.  

There is so much fun to be had from eggs and we haven't mentioned the chocolate variety!  We hope you have a little fun eggs-perimenting and enjoy the magic of eggs.

Happy Easter from The Cottage Beyond