Lava Lamp

Purpose: To see what happens when you mix vegetable oil with salt or sugar.

The purpose of this experiment is to find out what happens to vegetable oil when you put salt or sugar in it. My hypothesis is that salt would make the vegetable oil bubble and sugar would do nothing.

  • Salt Hypothesis: The salt will cause the vegetable oil to bubble.
  • Sugar Hypothesis: The sugar would not change anything.


  • 2 beakers
  • Cup of Water
  • Cup of Vegetable oil
  • Cup of salt
  • Cup of sugar


  1. In the 1st beaker put 150 ml* of water
  2. Add a large layer of vegetable oil
  3. Put a pinch of salt on top of the oil in one spot. Each lab member will put a pinch of salt in a different spot.
  4. Record your observations
  5. Repeat steps 1-4for the 2nd beaker, but use sugar instead

Variables and Constant:

  • Independent Variable: Material put in beaker
  • Dependent Variable: What Happened?
  • Constant: Vegetable oil and the amount of water

Observations and Results

materials Before During After
Salt Plain salt Salt goes to bottom and bring vegetable oil down which bubbles upward Salt is on bottom of baker floating on water below vegetable oil and on vegetable oil
Sugar Plain sugar Goes slowly though vegetable oil then abruptly goes through water Vegetable oil bubbles up to the surface of the water


The results show that salt will go to the bottom of the vegetable oil and sugar will sink slowly through the vegetable oil then go to the bottom of the water. For both vegetable oil will bubble up from the salt or sugar. The results did not match my results, and I think this happened because I was looking for a chemical reaction instead of a density problem. I learned that salt is more dense than sugar.

Liked it
5 Responses to “Lava Lamp”
  1. dude Says...

    On October 17, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    This is so cool! It really is like a lavalamp except the bubles never come back down.

  2. Michelle Says...

    On February 7, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Hi, Im Michelle
    and i’m doing the lava lamp for my science project and I find your information very helpful, Thanks

  3. Jazmine Says...

    On April 14, 2009 at 7:53 pm


  4. amanda Says...

    On April 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    HI, im amanda and i am 13..this helps ALOT when it comes to my science fair. i didnt want to write a whole giant thing about it so i go my so thnx to who ever made this little website!

  5. omar g. Says...

    On February 1, 2012 at 12:29 am

    i say to do your best and you will get a good project

Post Comment
comments powered by Disqus