Pool noodle(s).

Pool noodle(s). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does An Orange Float or Sink?

Is there any difference between an unpeeled orange and a peeled orange when you put the orange in water?

Let’s find out.


  • Orange
  • Water
  • Bowl


  • Fill the bowl with enough water to float the orange.
  • Put the unpeeled orange into the water.

What Should Happen?

The orange should float.

The air pockets trapped in the peel make the orange less dense than the water it is floating in.

If you peel it, including the white part of the rind, it should sink.

That’s because there is no longer enough air trapped around the orange, making it denser than the water it is in.

What would happen if you tried an apple? A banana?

What Is Density?

Density is the ratio of matter to volume.

Less dense objects or fluids float on denser fluids.

You can see the same thing with two different kinds of stone.

Pumice, which is lava rock, is filled with air pockets and will float.

All other stones sink in water.

How Is This Useful?

Life jackets are filled with air to help us float on top of the water.

We can float down a creek or in a swimming pool in rafts and inner tubes, or with foam pool noodles, which all contain pockets of air.

Thanks to sciencekids.co.nz for this activity.

Here’s to you and delighting your grandchildren with the wonders around them.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

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