[Updated 07/03/2014]

Hello everyone. This has been a little project of mine over the past few days 

I hope you all enjoy this listing, and share it around. Share all the science. :3


I will be editing this from time to time and I’ll keep a link to it on my blog so you can find it easily.

This is not meant to be a list of all science blogs on tumblr. Only all the ones I know about (which is still a lot but definitely not all). The blogs listed are all active as well (within the past few weeks).

If you are not on the list and want me to check out your blog, send me a message. I may or may not follow you

I categorized each blog by scientific field: 

Anthropology, Astronomy, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Engineering/Technology, Environmental Science, General Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Medical, Paleontology, Physics, Psychology and Zoology

The first post got too big, and I’ve had to split it into two posts.

Post #1 Contains the fields of Anthropology, Astronomy, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Engineering/Technology and Environmental Science.

This post contains General Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Medical, Paleontology, Physics, Psychology and Zoology.

If you’re not happy with the section I put you in, send me a message and I’ll make an edit. I had to make quick decisions on hundreds of blogs, I’m only human.

Its a LONG post, so it might be easier to just search for the field you’re interested in.

With that said, enjoy!

Keep reading

Ammonium dichromate volcano (Vesuvian Fire)

Ammonium dichromate (NH4)2Cr2Ois a pretty nasty chemical. Not only is it incredibly toxic, but carcinogenic, oxidising and corrosive on top of that. However, when initiated with a heat source, a beautiful reaction occurs with bright orange ammonium dichromate crystals as they thermally decompose into dark green chromium (III) oxide.

It looks very much like a volcano! 


Cakes rising

What happens if you leave out a vital ingredient from your cake? In this image you can see a time-lapse of four cakes, but only one of them has all of the necessary ingredients. No margarine means that there is no fat to coat the protein within the egg, meaning more gluten & a thicker cake. No egg means that there is not protein structure to contain expanding gases. No baking powder means there is no excess carbon dioxide to help your cake to rise. Find out more about the science of baking cakes & see what these different batches look like on the inside in this source video:

Ross Exton and the atbristol team are back in the kitchen again: this time with cake!

Pineapple Decomposing (Time Lapse)

At some point, if left to the elements, everything that was once alive succumbs to decomposition. It’s part of the carbon cycle and the recycling of organic nutrients and energy.

Organisms that break down organic tissue cells are called decomposers or  saprotrophs. Decomposers can include things such as fungi (mould), mini-beasts (worms!) and bacteria. 

“Bacteria are important decomposers; they are widely distributed and can break down just about any type of organic matter. A gram of soil typically contains 40 million bacterial cells, and the bacteria on Earth form a biomass that exceeds that of all living plants and animals. Bacteria are vital in the recycling of nutrients, and many steps in nutrient cycles depend on these organisms.”*

Fungi are the primary decomposers in many ecosystems, and many are very specialised in what they break down (such as certain fungi that have evolved to break down lignin in wood).

Invertebrates and also vertebrates that break down organic matter by consuming it are called detritivores. Detritivores eat organic matter, including other already-dead animals, plants and poop, and chemically break down nutrients through digestion. They then expel the nutrients (in their own poop) to make them easier to consume by other organisms.

Altogether, decomposition is a great thing! In the GIF above you can see fungi (mould) spreading over a pineapple and tiny invertebrates slowly breaking it down over time. As the most valuable, accessible and nutritious parts are broken down first, the pineapple collapses in on itself, leaving the parts behind that are harder to digest and least nutritious.



Phosphoric acid and tooth over 365 days

If you didn’t know already, phosphoric acid is in cola and other soft drinks. THIS is what it does to your teeth… tooth enamel erosion and tooth decay. 

This is post number 12 from the “Acid + things” series for today.

Edit: Weds 9th April, 2014: I’ve been criticised for this post exaggerating the effects of phosphoric acid on tooth enamel. Just to clarify, this tooth was submerged in cola for a whole year. Your teeth would not degrade to this extent unless you kept your mouth constantly full of soft drink and practised absolutely no dental hygiene whatsoever. However, the fact remains that phosphoric acid in soft drinks can damage teeth by contributing to enamel erosion and tooth decay.

Brush your teeth, kids!


Sodium Hydroxide + aluminium + water

This gif shows a slightly sped up version of a classic chemistry experiment. When aluminium is added to a strong sodium hydroxide solution, it creates sodium aluminate and hydrogen gas. In this gif, the experiment is contained within this 2L Pepsi bottle. This means that the Hydrogen gas being produced greatly increases the pressure inside the bottle very quickly, weakening the plastic and causing it to explode.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Sodium hydroxide is very corrosive. If you were in the vicinity of an exploding bottle of it, it would be very VERY bad for you. Here’s a list of why:

Sharp shrapnel from an exploding plastic bottle, highly corrosive liquid being thrown through the air towards your skin, this reaction is exothermic (you can see the liquid in the bottle boiling) so the corrosive is HOT, highly flammable hydrogen gas produced. This blog exists so that you don’t HAVE to try this at home. Don’t endanger your life and that of others. This GIF is for scientific demonstration purposes only.

This is the first in a series of GIFS for this Wednesday titled “Sodium Hydroxide + Things”.



The wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) has gained much attention over the past century due to its miraculous ability to freeze and then defrost again just as if nothing ever happened. It’s the frog version of science fiction and cryogenics.

Similar to other northern frogs that hibernate close to the surface in soil and/or leaf litter, wood frogs can tolerate the freezing of their blood and other tissues. Urea is accumulated in tissues in preparation for overwintering, and liver glycogen is converted in large quantities to glucose in response to internal ice formation. Both urea and glucose act as “anti-freeze” to limit the amount of ice that forms and to reduce osmotic shrinkage of cells. Frogs can survive many freeze/thaw events during winter if no more than about 65% of the total body water freezes.




Sodium hydroxide corrodes a glass phial

Glass is nearly invulnerable to chemicals and thus why it’s the preferred material for chemical containers and reaction vessels. But when exposed to molten sodium hydroxide even glass will dissolve.”

“The sodium hydroxide is reacting with the silicon dioxide in the glass to form sodium silicate, which is soluble and dissolves away.”

The NaOH featured here is molten pellets, isn’t in solution and is very VERY concentrated . The experiment was heated to increase the rate of reaction. Bench grade NaOH  breaks down glass very slowly (bench grade is really anything up to and around 2M where I work), so we have stored low molarities in glass bottles in the past with little issue. 



2D Rubens’ Tube (as requested by kirbuu)

A Rubens’ tube is a tube of flammable gas (usually methane) with a row of holes drilled along the top, to create jets of flame when the gas is ignited. When sound waves are played along the tube with the fire, the different air pressures caused by the sound wave cause the jets of flame to rise and fall. 

This creates ‘nodes’ and 'anti-nodes’ on a standing wave sound wave (a stationary wave), the name for the maximum and minimum levels of amplitude (wave height). When a sound is made air particles compress and expand- as in the bottom gif- causing a wave effect. Where the air particles compress, there is an increase in pressure, and where air particles expand, there is a decrease in pressure. These increases and decreases in pressure control the height that the jet of flame rises.

The Rubens’ tube in the gifs above is a metal plate (named the 'Pyroboard’) with over 2,500 holes drilled into it, in a flat 2D square. Gas is pumped into the plate and ignited, whilst sound waves are also pumped into the Rubens’ tube causing all of these interesting patterns.

gif source

Sodium hydroxide + silver nitrate precipitation reaction

Adding clear sodium hydroxide solution to clear silver nitrate produces a brown precipitate (silver oxide).

2 AgNO3(aq) + 2 NaOH(aq) –> Ag2O(s) + 2 NaNO3(aq) + H2O(l) 

This is post number three in today’s series “sodium hydroxide + things”.

The molarity of the NaOH here could be anything between 0.1 M - 2M, and the reaction would still work well. It would not be necessary to use a stronger concentration. The same stands for the silver nitrate solution, where 0-1M- 1M would probably suffice.



Sodium hydroxide + aluminium padlock

This is post number 2 of today’s series of “Sodium hydroxide + things”

The sodium hydroxide corrodes the padlock to the extent of the last picture over a time frame of roughly half an hour.

The molarity of the NaOH solution here is debatable. It’s actually taken from a supermarket drain cleaner where the percentage of NaOH is said to be 15%.


Alcohol rocket

Here you can see the ignition of ethanol vapour in a bottle. The wave of combustion travels up the length of the rocket, the rapidly expanding gas increases the pressure, and the resulting propulsion sends it flying! Find out how to make a rocket in this video:

(via @rossexton)

Another very cool Submission from Ross Exton


Polyurethane foam expansion

Polyurethane (a polymer) foaming by the chemical reaction of two components: Isocyanate (the dark component in this video) and polyol containing chemical additives and blowing agents (the clear component). The chemical reaction generates heat- an exothermic reaction- which contributes to the expansion and final curing of the foam. The proportions and formulations of both products are defined according to the industrial application: flexible, semi-rigid or rigid foams. 

Typical flexible polyurethane foams: mattresses and automotive seating.

Typical semi-flexible polyurethane foam: steering wheels.

Typical rigid foam: insulation in household refrigerators.

video and blurb source