polyox teaser
polyox teaser. Steve Mould

Today in strange and wonderful videos comes this demonstration of a gel that seems to defy gravity.

YouTuber Steve Mould shows the properties of the substance, called called polyethylene oxide. The gel behaves in this strange way because it is a polymer, made up of long chains of molecules that are so well-connected that once some of the gel starts spilling out of the container, the rest is pulled along with it.

Polyethylene oxide (commercially known as Poly-Ox) isn’t just a pretty demonstration of the properties of polymers. It is used all kinds of industries and scientific fields, from preserving artifacts, to printer ink, to lotion. It’s even used to make newsprint, and as a component in pills.

Steve Mould is the most recent person to publish a video showing off the properties of polyethylene oxide, but he certainly isn’t the first. The polymer has been used for years to demonstrate the weird linking properties of polymers. You can even buy Poly-Ox to do the experiment yourself.

For a more in-depth view (and without having to wait or pay for for your own polyethylene oxide), check out this fun news segment from a local station in Toledo, Ohio. (They made it glow!)

[ h/t SPLOID ]