Properties of Matter

Fruity Floater

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • An orange
  • A deep bowl or container
  • Water


  1. Fill the bowl with water and put the orange in it. What happens?
  2. Now peel the orange and put it in the water again. What happens this time?

Results and Explanation

You should find that the orange floats when its skin is still on, but sinks after you peel it off!

Orange skin is full of tiny air pockets that help make the orange less dense overall than water, so it floats. Removing the skin makes the orange denser than water, so it sinks. 

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

appears in the relation m=ρV
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