Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Chicken or the Eggshell?

An egg without it's shell



We love doing experiments for science. Some experiments are very cool and exciting, others don't work out quite the way we planned. But that's how science goes in the real world, right? Sometimes we'll throw in a little something extra just for fun. That's what we did the other day.

I have this memory as a kid doing this little experiment under the direction of my father. We took a fresh egg and gently placed it in the bottom of a glass jar, covered the egg with white vinegar, put a lid on top, and then set it aside for a week. We'd check on it from time to time, seeing mostly bubbles surrounding the egg. Seven days later, I took the egg out of the vinegar and held it under gently flowing water from the tap. All of the egg shell came off leaving the egg perfectly intact! It feels kinda like a rubber bouncy ball. I wouldn't recommend bouncing the egg though. We were able to hold an uncooked egg, without its shell, in our fingers.

My very deep and thought-provoking scientific question is: Which came first, the chicken or the eggshell?

P.S. You can do this same experiment with a cleaned-up chicken leg bone. A week later, take it out and rinse it off. Gently bend the bone and tie it in a knot. Let the bone air dry and keep it as a very cool conversation starter with a curious 8 year old.

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