Does an Orange Float or Sink?

Does an orange float or sink when placed in water? Seems like a fairly straight forward question, but is it? Give this fun density science experiment for kids a try and answer the question while learning a unique characteristic of oranges.

What you’ll need:

  • An orange
  • A container
  • Water

How to do it?

  • Fill the container with water.
  • Put the orange in the container filled with water and observe closely.You will find that orange float on the surface of water.
  • Now do the same thing with peeled orange. See what happens this time?
  • To our utter surprise, it sinks despite having less weight than the other. Observe it for a while.

Why it is so?

The rind of an orange, the cover has lot of tiny air pockets. You can easily see them. These air pockets, though increase some weight but also decrease effective density. And we all know things with less density float. Removing the rind resulted in removal of air pockets.
You can imagine rind as the life jacket of an orange. Like the rind of an orange, life jackets have air pockets which do not let us to sink. Same is the case with orange, its life jacket, the rind do not let it to sink.


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