Episode 57: Diet Coke and Mentos

Air Date: August 9, 2006

Why does dropping Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke create a geyser effect?

Mostly because the Mentos provide nucleation sites for the dissolved carbon dioxide in the Diet Coke to escape as a gas. Other active ingredients in the cascade-effect reaction include aspartame (artificial sweetener), potassium benzoate (preservative), and caffeine in the Diet Coke; and gum arabic and gelatin in the Mentos. The ingredients seem to have a perfect compatibility with each other and, when mixed together and added to the nucleation, creates a chemical reaction that forces the soda to release all of its dissolved carbon dioxide at once, thus causing a more violent eruption than carbonated water alone.

(This is the first segment not to be assigned a "busted", "plausible" or "confirmed" rating, as there was no "myth" to be proved or disproved. Adam and Jamie did the tests simply to dissect the process and determine what actually makes a so-called Diet Coke geyser work.)

A stamp placed on the rotor of a helicopter can unbalance the spinning rotors enough to cause it to crash.

busted

A stamp in a controlled scale test did not cause any changes to the helicopter rotor’s rotation. The Mythbusters immediately ramped up the test to the scale of 8,000 stamps, which destroyed the scale model helicopter. The full-sized test also produced the same results as the stamp did not cause the helicopter to crash and, according to the pilot, did not cause any significant change in the way the helicopter flew. A stamp placed on the tail rotor also did not cause any noticeable change.

158 Comments

  1. nicole says:

    i tried this with my friends and it was awsome!

  2. brianna says:

    my class is doing this experiment and we did it and i was sprayed all over but it was awsome and it went 12.6 ft ( it got me to spend a little time out of the class. ) THANKS FOR GIVING US THE IDEA!!!

  3. tom says:

    which soda works best other than diet coke

  4. Robert rusch says:

    have you ever tried pickels in diet coke

  5. noah nickilson says:

    have you ever tried pickels in diet coke

  6. Mackenzie LaVohn says:

    What are some the variables in this experiment? … Science Fair :) I LOVE THIS SHOW!

  7. alexis says:

    is it bad if i put mentos in my mouth and then coke

    • erika says:

      yes

  8. cheyenne says:

    i’m doing a science fair project and this helps more than any thing.

  9. Bruno says:

    can anyone show me an official news that someone really died on this mentos+diet coke thing? Everyone belives, but i don’t think it really can kill someone..

  10. Hunter Darkflame says:

    Does any1 knows anything about mint mentos and diet coke?!?! Like no one can die from diet coke + mentos! I doupt it will kill some1.

  11. Blake says:

    if you crush the mentos it will not work as good because it has a lesser surface area then a whole mento. Also if you add rock salt to the reaction it will make it more productive reaction.

    • ajith says:

      I thought crushing increases surface area..

  12. ps444444 says:

    omg my science teacher will not let me try the experiment in the science fair dats just so wrong cuz ive done it b4 and it was awsome. My teacher is mean :(

  13. santa says:

    the flavor of mentos does matter it has to be mint

    • Zoie says:

      Mint or Fruit both work.

  14. Carolyne says:

    My science teacher is letting me do this for my science fair but I want to know whick has a higher reaction to the mentos, Coke, Pepsi, or Mountain Dew. PLEASE REPLY!

    • Science Fair says:

      Try them all! This would be an excellent experiment for your science fair project. Figure out how to set the bottles up so you can measure how far the spray goes, and measure how much liquid is left in the bottle afterward. Data + Poster Board + Markers = science fair project.

  15. saleana says:

    im doin this for a science report.i have diet coke and no mentoes.should i use a certain type of them?i have a little 12 FL oz. bottle does that matter, i dont want to make atotal mess in the classroom… if you have answers please let me know
    thanks! saleana [^:

  16. jordan says:

    hey i am doing a science fair project on this any suggestion

  17. warren says:

    use jordan diet coke and dr pepper

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  18. Larry says:

    if consumed together, can mentos+diet coke causes brain hemorrhage/or heart attack or anything like that?

  19. joshua and ryan says:

    can a laser pop a balloon

  20. kemio says:

    i am doing this for my science fair progect and i am trying to get how do u minus the carbon dixoide

  21. Rock Deezy says:

    I need to know what materials i will need to use if i want to try this experiment for a school project. The only things that i know i need is a Diet Coke & Mentos.

  22. summers LAD says:

    most fizzy drinks work and alot of softmints do also… polos for example work extremely well. i think this is because it takes longer to suck a mento down then it does to suck a polo meaning that the polo tranfers its chemical energy faster than a mento dose… so MR.Rock Deezy you could make the sweet or drink the variable you controle.

  23. megan says:

    that show was awsome! Me and My science class loved it . Were you really sticky after the experiment. why does Carbon doixide make Diet Coke fiz up with a minto? I know you siad it on the show but I just Don’t get it.

  24. Dimika says:

    I understand this but the physics how do i get them and the hypothesis. 8th grade science project

  25. Juliana Rosa Hernandez says:

    Heyy Myth Busters! I Am In 7th Grade And I Am Doinqq A Science Fair Project On Mentos And Soda! I Saw Ur Episode And I Think I Need A Liitle More Informatin..Plz Help Me Thnxx!
    -Juliana

  26. -cayla says:

    Hey me and my friend did this project for science fair so we were wondering how did it turn out.

  27. jordan says:

    thanks! this helped alot for my science project!

  28. Sarah says:

    Hey im doin this for a science project and i wanted to know all the basics cuz my 6th grade science teacher expects alot!! HELP!!!

    thanxx Sarah

  29. justus says:

    Im Doing A Reaserch Paper For Chemistry And I Have To Debate Wheather Its A Chemical Reaction Or Physical. Which Is It ?

    • Zack Doll says:

      Its a physical reaction. Trust me. i had to learn about that for my experiment when i did it

  30. N/A says:

    i dont think the caffiene has anything to do with the reaction, cause when tried with caffiene-free diet coke, the reaction was the same

  31. Mike B says:

    can sharks with laser beams on their foreheads actually kill a person

  32. me, myself & i says:

    we are doing an experiment at school, diet coke and mentos, we have to try and get it to spray the highest. i got little whole in someekind of a steel lid/nozzle, but i’m not sure yet if it would work better if jou just cut the shell of and crushed it since that would give you more surfice area & it is only the shell that reacts anyway.

    does any one have any ideas?

    • Zack Doll says:

      use something with many MANY small holes. the carbon dioxide needs to fit in all of those holes.

  33. sage101 says:

    thank you very much for this info.Its really taught me a lot and will aid greatly in my science experiment,keep on busting!

  34. Jimmy Me Boy says:

    its awesome!!!,i swallowed 2mentos and drank diet coke =)..u will feel bloated right away =)

    • Argh Science Pirate says:

      Jimmy Me Boy, ye have the heart of a true Science Pirate. Ar, and the gullet to match.

  35. sarah89813 says:

    would a colored mentos work or would it have a different affect?

    • Mitha says:

      i think you should come up with some sort of mousetrap (the game, not the killing device) contraption to drop the mentos into the soda. or maybe put different color sodas into rainbow order and drop the mentos at the same time. that would be cool.

  36. Dom says:

    The experiment for this added the Mentos to the coke in the pigs stomach, but the ‘myth’ as Grant said in his conclusion, was to add coke after eating the Mentos.
    Would the experiment work if the mentos were added first, for the reaction to work/

  37. cimofj2 says:

    When I was a child in Grade School, I remeber reading a story about a Dry Ice Rocket.

  38. glue says:

    is this okay for an 8th grade science project

  39. Zoey Freed says:

    I am doing this experiment with my dad for a science fair project.I am in 5th grade.Can U PLEASE HELP ME????

    Sincerily,
    Zoey Freed

  40. AUSSIEBOY says:

    WHY DON’T YOU TAKE SODA TO THE LIMIT AND GET A 15 FEET TALL COINTANIER AND 500 MENTOS AND SEE THE ERUPTION

  41. alem says:

    i made a rocket with 967 mentos and i got 367 bottles of coke and it went 1098 feet high and every bottle had 3 mentos in it

  42. MEgan Dumont says:

    Above it says there is no myth around “Why does dropping Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke create a geyser effect?” However, the other day i was told that if you drink diet coke and then eat a whole mentos, it will cause this “explosion” in your stomach that could kill you. Now that is a myth to be tested!!

  43. Cody and garret says:

    Hi we think your show rocks but you should put more episodes so that way you have more fans we live in Augusta kansas

  44. lucas debatty says:

    I love mythbusters <3 <3 <3

    • oliva says:

      same here dude

  45. micah says:

    I’m doing a project on chemicals in general and one of my examples is diet coke and mentos. I think it is very interesting, but is there a way of making the reaction more violent by changeing the mix furter.

  46. porter says:

    I don’t get how this will affect your life

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