Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

The Invisible Water Trick

Here’s a neat trick demonstrating the density of sulfur hexafluoride–its more dense than the surrounding air, so the tin foil boat floats. Jay Leno tried the trick out and started drinking the gas, which has the opposite effect on the tone of your voice as helium does. Hilarity ensues.
Jay Leno Inhales – Anti-helium… HilariousFor more funny movies, click here


  1. #1 Moe
    October 6, 2007

    There’s a good video of Jay Leno trying this here. They also inhale the gas to lower their voices, a must if you have a big aquarium of the stuff in front of you! Makes me laugh every time I watch.

  2. #2 Shelley Batts
    October 6, 2007

    Moe, that was hilarious! I think I’ll add that to my original post.

  3. #3 Casey
    October 6, 2007

    The “lab coat with cuffs folded up over the sleeves” look is almost enough to me wish I weren’t a theorist.

  4. #4 Charlie (Colorado)
    October 7, 2007

    I want some. Where can I find this stuff?

  5. #5 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    October 8, 2007

    Obligatory Nanny Post
    Sulfur hexafluoride might not be toxic, but oxygen deprivation is. Don’t inhale SH6 to the point where you don’t have enough oxygen, make sure someone else is around to pull your carcass out of the gas tank if you do, and make sure the room has adequate ventilation.

  6. #6 BeenThere
    October 9, 2007

    I second the oxygen deprivation post. I passed out at a birthday party as a child inhaling helium ballons. No oxygen to the brain equals nappy time.

  7. #7 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    October 9, 2007

    Yes I did mean SF6 and not SH6. Thank you for pretending not to notice.

  8. #8 doug m
    October 9, 2007

    sadly this poses yet another thing that idiot frat boys will try and someone will get seriously hurt from

  9. #9 chris f
    February 11, 2008

    Funniest example of this I’ve seen. Mad scientists, LOL!

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