Mummify an apple!

Mummify an apple!

From tasty treats to wrinkly mummies

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Make your own mummy...

If you've had enough of apple pies and apple crumble, how about mummifying an apple?

What you need:

  • Apple
  • Knife
  • 40 grams baking soda
  • 80 grams table salt
  • Two plastic cups

How to:

  1. Cut the apple in half. Eat one half - you won't need it for the experiment.
  2. Cut the remaining half in half again. Put each piece of apple into a separate cup.
  3. Mix together the baking soda and salt. Pour this on top of one of the apple slices. Make sure the apple is completely covered.
  4. Put the cups somewhere out of direct sunlight for one week.
  5. After a week, pour the salt and baking soda mixture out of the cup. What has happened to the apple slices? Is there a difference between them?

You could make an apple mummy head! Draw a picture on an apple with felt tips or marker pens. Cover the apple completely with a baking soda and salt mixture and leave for a week. When you pour away the baking soda and salt mixture you're left with your very own apple mummy head!

What's happening?

You should see that one of your apple slices has rotted. The slice covered in the salt and baking soda mixture hasn't rotted. It's been mummified!

Salt and baking soda are desiccants. Desiccants remove water from any material it comes into contact with. Bacteria that cause rotting and decay need water to survive. Salt and baking soda remove the water from the apple, which makes it hard for bacteria to survive and cause decay.

Ancient Egyptians use a similar method to preserve human bodies after death. They used natron, a naturally occurring dessicant, to mummify bodies.

Curriculum information

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