Soaking Gummi Bears in Water for Fun and Profit (Mostly Fun, Alas)

Written by Christopher Null on March 26th, 2004

The mind-bending effect of soaking a Gummi Bear overnight in water. Unsoaked bear shown for scale.

Soaking credit: Steve King, Mobile PC managing editor.

 

79 Comments so far ↓

  1. purplebear says:

    ooooh, umm kinda makes ya wonder just what’s in them gummi bears for that to happen to them. lol :)

  2. bananas says:

    osmosis. =)

  3. Ken says:

    Osmosis- The diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane. One of the only definitions I remember from 8th grade biology. :)

    • Russell says:

      Osmosis is the movement from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane

      • James says:

        That’s why he said ‘DIFFUSION’
        Diffusion – Def. – Movement of a fluid from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration.

        • Chris says:

          And technically, osmosis refers only to the movement of water. As James said, diffusion is the movement of any substance from higher to lower concentration.

          I knew that biology degree would come in handy.

  4. Mik says:

    Ken I remember that exact same phrase from high biology too, not much else.

  5. Illuria says:

    purplebear just reminds me of that woman who sees the rainbow in her sprinkler and then makes a video about ‘what are they putting in our water?’

  6. purplebear[mobile] says:

    this is me on my mobile, disregard my comment, i suck cock.

  7. Sunnie says:

    Coolness! I know what I’m serving at my next party!

  8. william says:

    think this would work with alcohol? slightly bigger molecule… but maybe? worth a try. vodka gummy bears.

  9. norm says:

    Wow, you could cut the elitism in here with a knife.

  10. notsure says:

    the definition we had to learn in the 7th grade was “the passing of a substance from a greater concentration to a lesser concentration through a semi-permeabe membrane” as best I can recall

  11. soapy5 says:

    so not being an imbecile = elitism?

  12. Non Elitist says:

    So u think everione should no how two spel properle ande have an basic knowledge of how thins work scientificalle? taht is stapid, know one can kep al taht knowledge, if it wur posible teh world would implode due two ekscess informatien. u peopul make me sick.

    Made possible with spell uncheck, look it up.

  13. Luis Arenas (México) says:

    this pic was cool till i saw all the bs people left in this post.

  14. Anon says:

    Wouldn’t this be diffusion instead of osmosis? I don’t think gummy bears have any membranes.

    • Mr. Pothead says:

      You wouldn’t think pot had membranes either, but I cure my weed with osmosis.

      Not to mention my gummi bears. From now on anyway.

      Matter of fact I’m going to go to the grocery store for some gummi bears right now.

      Any of you smart guys wanna tell me if there’s a way to do this faster than a day?

      • musashi_hai says:

        to speed process place gummie bears in a beaker 1/2 full of water. Top plugged with rubber plug with hole. A tube leading into the plug carries the air pressurized by a compressor
        (2-3 lb max)The pressurized surroundings will accelearate process. Do not heat.

      • Pinky` says:

        Pot has membranes. All cells, human, plant or bacterial, have membranes. So that includes pot.

        When it comes to gummi bears, they don’t have membranes, but they can swell in water because of the gelatin, which can retain LOTS of water. When the gummi bears are soaked, they get softer. Jell-O with the proper amount of water solidifies, but if you put in more water, it gets softer. I don’t know what this process is called, but anyway, it’s all because of the jelly!

        -X- Pinky`

        • Arthur says:

          It’s interesting you mention that, Pinky.
          Basically, the reason that gelatin ‘retains’ water is because it’s essentially a high-viscosity solution – sort of like how glass is technically a super cooled liquid at room temperature, gelatin that has been melted, mixed with water, and cooled, forms a semi-solid, dense solution with the water. When this colloid has more water introduced to it, the water essentially dilutes the solution, just like it would dilute a salt-water solution, but much slower, and with a more visibly impressive effect. It’s not osmosis at work – it IS diffusion, because a) as you correctly pointed out, there’s no membrane for the water to move across, and b) because I’m sure that if the leftover water was shown it would have a slight hint of color to it (and a faint hint of flavor upon ingestion). This is because diffusion goes both ways – the gelatin would diffuse into the pure water as the water was diffusing into the gelatin (although not at the same rate, since one is a colloidal gel).
          I hope this helps with your confusion on the name of the process. ^^

  15. Roy Blacksail says:

    Ill have to try this with vodka.
    anyone else thinking of trying this dont leave booze uncovered for long periods of time, it evaporates faster then water and your vodka will turn into little more then gross tasting water

    @the last guy, good question, i dodnt remember what exact constitues a membrane

  16. Tove says:

    Instead of making fun of people who know less than you maybe you could share your knowledge.

  17. ShrimpFarts says:

    Dear LAWDY!

    Non Elitist, I am deeply concerned by your lack of total control over your inability to spell correctly.

    I lose sleep on a nightly basis because of this.

    Get a job.

    (“snicker” :) )

  18. Poops Alot says:

    What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of the women! – “Conan the Barbarian”

  19. Jim Smith, João Pessoa, Brazil says:

    Oh no! Now some entrepreneur will soak gummi bears and sell them as “King-Size Bears.”

    H.L. Mencken was right, “No one ever lost money underestimating the taste of the American Public.”

  20. John says:

    So where exactly are the membranes in gummy bears? There mostly just sugar aren’t they? What’s sugar doing with a semi-permeable membrane?

    • Arthur says:

      Actually, commercial food gelatin has sugar, flavor, and colorings added to it to make the products we know as gummy bears (and jello, and…). Gelatin in it’s pure state is a rather flavorless clear solid made up of various proteins and peptides extracted from animal collagen. Those proteins and peptides are what give gelatin its colloidal properties when melted, added to water, and cooled. As you’ll seee in my reply to Pinky’, gelatin products don’t have a membrane. They’re a solution, albeit in an unusually solid state (given that they’re aqueous, lol).
      You’re more than welcome to check wikipedia or any number of chemistry information clearinghouses on teh webs for confirmation; I may be a chemist, but I’d have to hand back my skeptic’s card if I asked you to believe me just because I claim to have special knowledge ^^.

  21. Just me says:

    Dude, they’re made of mostly gelatin, hence the expansion when soaked in water. Jell-0 would do much the same thing before it completely dissolved. I am guessing (not factual, just a hypothesis), that if you left the gummy bear long enough, it too, would dissolve.

  22. sauceman says:

    If more people knew about this, their gummy bear collections would last for months instead of hours.

  23. facepalmdotjpeg says:

    you all make my balls hurt, just sitting here arguing over the gummi bear. who cares? it’s bigger and that’s funny. no reason to get all pompous about it.

  24. Mongo says:

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^ all ballbags

  25. Kilgore Trout says:

    Mortay, my man what it is?

  26. anthony says:

    How about simple absorption.

  27. anojym says:

    To everyone suggesting doing this with vodka: wouldn’t the ethanol dissolved the gummy bears? They are made with gums and not gelatin right?

  28. Turd for a Dildo says:

    Hardy har, what a thread.

  29. It's poison says:

    Don’t do this at home, it’s now filled with a chemical, dihydrous monoxide and is highly addictive and deadly. Please heed this warning, EVERYONE who comes into contact with this substance will die!!

  30. Well you smart lot;I have just invented powdered water!

    Now all I need to do is find something to mix it with.

  31. wille says:

    am I the only one who think they taste horrible afterwards? tasteless and harder to chew? anywho… why am I even commenting on this shit…

  32. Dr bob says:

    Osmosis is generally carried out by fine particle filtration using a membrane plant and a biological aeration not to be confused with a solid which would prefer to bond with H2O molecules (covalent bonding) so therefore by nature of there being more atoms there is a greater area e.g. bigger Gummi bear pmsl.

  33. Lillith says:

    You elitist science jockies are slap-fighting over osmosis and diffusion but you don’t know enough to know that the damn gummy bear, of course, has membranes as it has cells?!

    The next time you’re about to reach your hand out to anonymous-douch bag all over a stranger, at LEAST have the presence of mind to think about how much of a dumbass you might sound like when someone asks you a question.

    I’m trying it with sour gummies and pucker.

    • Arthur says:

      Ummm. Lillith? I’m not sure you’re aware of this, but… Gelatin is a solution. Concentrated gelatin solution can no more develop cellular membranes spontaneously than salt water can.
      Cells require membranes which require a phospholipid bilayer (at the very least – they’re usually a hell of a lot more complicated than that).
      Gelatin doesn’t have the enzymes to produce the phospholipids necessary to form the type of membrane you’re talking about, or the ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) to pay energetically for the construction of those phospholipids, because it isn’t a living substance. I should also point out that phospholipids don’t generally occur spontaneously – especially in foodstuffs.
      Instead of getting mad over your error, I recommend taking a couple biology and chemistry classes – they have a tendency to make you see the world in a whole new light, and they can be quite fascinating.

  34. splort says:

    It’s not osmosis/diffusion you bunch of sack sucking cracktards. It’s a normal gummi bear next to a large gummi bear. You can purchase larger gummi bears which has less sugar and are more chewy and fun to play with… Science sucks and doesn’t apply here you pathetic internet erudition zealots.

  35. essie says:

    for profit?

  36. jon says:

    I wonder what would happen if you put these gummi bears in your nose. Is anyone willing to try that?

  37. Digbick says:

    I wouldn’t want one of them swimming up my arse!

  38. wiggles says:

    do they shrink back to normal size?

  39. uoyopw says:

    imgoing to try it but it probably wont work

  40. Dave says:

    Will this work for my girlfriend if she stays in the tub all night? It’ll save some serious bucks for a boob job..

  41. Janet says:

    Use hot water and you get jello

  42. KayKay says:

    Omg i just got some gummi bears!!!! i hope it works!!!! ill post a comment and let u kno if it does :)

  43. kybeth says:

    how is that real tell me and write back please

  44. tatianna says:

    were doing that in school

  45. freakhog says:

    works with rum too

  46. AlkoholikAnon says:

    Soak em in liquor….they’re like chewy little jello shots! I do it almost every time I have a party

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